MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippine president has suspended domestic travel to and from the Manila area for a month and authorized sweeping quarantines in the region to fight the new coronavirus.
President Rodrigo Duterte also banned large gatherings in the metropolis, suspended most government work and extended the suspension of classes by a month in new restrictions announced Thursday in a nationwide TV address.
He warned that violators and officials who refuse to enforce the restrictions would face possible imprisonment.
“This is not martial law. It’s not even something extraordinary,” Duterte said, stressing that the restrictions are only aimed at fighting the virus.
Health officials have confirmed 52 cases of the virus, and two people, a Chinese and a Filipino, have died.