As of 04:00 PM, March 26, 2020 (Philippine Standard Time), the country's Department of Health announced that confirmed Coronavirus cases have reached 707. In a media briefing on Thursday, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said that 71 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded. Meanwhile, seven more patients have died bringing the country's total to 45. These deaths include nine doctors and other front-liners who succumbed to the disease. Recovery is still low with two more patients adding to a total of 28.

The numbers are expected to rise as more testing kits become available. Hundreds of PUI (Persons Under Investigation) and PUM (Persons Under Monitoring) or those people who were exposed to the disease were also tested and results are still pending.

PUI's and PUM's are advised to do strict home quarantine measures and failure to do so is punishable by law. The general public is advised to just stay at home in the meantime and observe social distancing and proper hygiene.

Enhanced Community Quarantine

Military and police personnel are roaming the streets of Metro Manila to make sure everyone is abiding the quarantine protocols. A curfew is in place from 08:00 PM - 05:00 AM and a fine or jail time will be imposed on violators. A so-called "Quarantine Pass" was given to each head of the household to limit the people going to supermarkets or pharmacies to buy supplies. Trucks were roaming the streets to sanitize the city. Relief operations are underway to help the poor especially those who only depend on daily earnings.

Despite the threat, some still go to work to earn a living to survive and not die from hunger. Mayors of various cities that comprise Metro Manila and the national government are working round the clock to combat the virus which has already affected the lives of many and has greatly impacted the country's economy.

Total Lockdown

With the numbers of infection growing exponentially every day, a possible total lockdown may be implemented any time from now. When this happens, there will be no more establishments that will open. Everyone should stay at home and heightened military presence can be expected. People are starting to frequent grocery stores to see what they can get in case the situation comes to worse.

The Philippines can't afford what is happening now to Italy or the US so a total lockdown is possible.

On March 11, the World Health Organization has officially declared the disease a "pandemic" before just being considered as a "public health emergency of international concern" back in January.

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