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Davao City closes borders due to coronavirus outbreak

MANILA, Philippines – The Davao City government is prohibiting residents from leaving its borders as the country deals with an increasing number of novel coronavirus cases.

In a Facebook post on Thursday, March 12, the city government said all residents are prohibited from going out of Davao City. 

All short-term visitors are also “advised” to leave Davao City immediately.

The city government “requested” those planning to visit the city to postpone their trip until after President Rodrigo Duterte, the father of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, lifts the state of public health emergency.

Despite the strict travel restrictions to and from Davao City, its local government said it is “not on lockdown.” 

Before imposing this sweeping local travel ban, Mayor Duterte already temporarily closed off the Night Market along Roxas Avenue starting Thursday. All parks and playgrounds were ordered shut as well. 

The city government said it may soon have the capability to test samples of the novel coronavirus at the Southern Philippines Medical Center later this month.  

“We are waiting for the materials to be sent here, the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). It will be the molecular laboratory that will be doing the tests,” said Dr Marie Yvette Barez, the hospital’s Infection Control and Prevention Unit chair.

On Thursday evening, the President said he will place Metro Manila under lockdown from March 15 to April 14. Local government units outside Metro Manila may also declare localized lockdowns within their respective jurisdictions.

A city-wide quarantine, like the one being implemented in Davao City, may be imposed when there are at least two positive coronavirus cases living in different barangays.  

The Philippines has so far recorded 52 positive cases of COVID-19, 5 of which were fatal– Rappler.com 

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the House of Representatives and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.

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