Filippino authorities announced on Monday, November 30, that the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) has been extended in several regions of the country until at least December 31, due to a rise in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases. The extension has been implemented in the provinces of Batangas (Calabarzon region) and Lanao del Sur (Bangsamoro Autonomous Region), as well as the cities of Davao (Davao region), Iloilo (Western Visayas region), Tacloban (Eastern Visayas region), and Iligan (Northern Mindanao region). Additionally, Davao del Norte province (Davao region) will also be placed under GCQ from Tuesday, December 1. Authorities announced that the rest of the country will remain under a modified GCQ.
Face masks remain mandatory on all public transport, including trains, busses, boats, and taxis. Additionally, Non-essential travel is now permitted between GCQ and MGCQ regions within the country.
A 00:00 - 04:00 (local time) curfew remains in place in Metro Manila while Navotas City will remain under the 20:00 - 04:00 curfew.
As of Monday, November 30, there have been 431,630 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines and 8392 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhoea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.