Residents of the Philippines woke up on March 17 to find that their country had announced a sweeping home quarantine order. The sudden quarantine left many unaware that half the population of the Philippines were asked to stay at home for a month.
Philippines is the first country in the region to take such drastic measures. According to reports, President Rodrigo Duterte has said that the people of Philippines were in the fight for their lives and that the current curbs on movement and public gatherings were severely insufficient. Philippines has reported a total of 187 coronavirus cases and the death toll in the country stands at 12.
Malaysia will also be initiating a lockdown from March 18, it will be closing borders, schools and most businesses. Internal movement will also be restricted. Malaysia has reported a total of 673 coronavirus cases and the death toll in the country stands at 2. Most of the cases in Malaysia are reportedly linked to a major religious event.
Cambodia has reported 24 coronavirus cases, while Thailand has reported 177 positive cases with one death. As per reports, Thailand’s cabinet has decided to close schools, cinemas, bars and entertainment centres. They have also decided to postpone April’s New Year celebrations.
The recent and abrupt measures by Philippines widen a lockdown that was first implemented on March 13. The earlier lockdown had introduced immigration limits, curfews, closure of schools and malls, bans on gatherings, social distancing, and restrictions on movement for the capital.
According to reports, Jonathan Malaya, an interior ministry official said that those that were caught off guard by the lockdown will be provided with help in order to get back home adding that things would normalize once people understood that they need to stay at home.