The World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. It was a pandemic never before seen. Statistics bares it all: (1) It left about 4,200 people dead; (2) Had infected more than 118,000 others worldwide as the number of cases of cases outside China, the epicenter of the curse, continues to rise according to the agency.

                Why? The number of infected persons and deaths are expected to climb in the days and weeks ahead, according to the WHO, Director General which also chided what it described as the “inaction of  governments.”

                 Ghebreyesus cautioned not to use the word “pandemic” lightly or carelessly. “If misused,” he added, “it can cause unreasonable fear or unjustified acceptance that the fight over, leading to unnecessary suffering and death.”

                  He also said the agency has been in full response mode since the first case of COVID-19 was recorded in December last year. “We have rung the alarm bell loud and clear, “he said.

                  With a tinge of alarm, conviction and regret, the ranking WHO official added: “ If countries detect, test, treat, isolate, trace and mobilize their people in response, those with handful cases of the deadly c0an prevent clusters of cases and prevent clusters from becoming community transmissions.

                  Even countries with community transmissions of large clusters can turn the tide, as several of them have demonstrated that the virus can be controlled, according to Ghebreyesus.

                  “The challenge for many countries dealing with large COVID cases or community transmission is not whether they can do the same—it’s whether they will,” he said.

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          There’s no lockdown yet officials said, but Metro Manila is being placed under a month-long “community quarantine” COVID-19 starting March 15 until April 15. It was agreed upon by the members of the Interagency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (ITFMEID) who met the other week at Malacanang.

           The task force agreed to implement sweeping measures to contain the spread of infection, including banning mass gatherings, extending class suspensions and “imposing a localized community quarantine” for areas with confirmed COVID-19 cases. A communit4 y quarantine was thereby imposed in the entirety of Metro Manila after the Code Red Alert (CRA) was raised to Sublevel 2.

            In justifying the measures, PDU30 who presided over the meeting, said these were intended to protect the public from the contagion.

             “This is not martial law. It’s not even extraordinary…(There is no other reason) but to fight the virus  and exact compliance, “ the President said in a televised  address late  night after the meeting.