Business Insider Edition

Take a look: What the lockdown for 57 million people in the Phillipines looks like

James Pasley , Business Insider US
 Mar 31, 2020, 03:23 PM
A composite of image of coronavirus lockdown measures in the Philippines.
Ezra Acayan/Getty
  • The Philippines' main island Luzon, which has a population of more than 57 million, is on lockdown.
  • Along with people's movements being restricted, soldiers are covering residents and the streets in disinfectant, and open coffins have been left on the roads as a warning to people to stay inside.
  • On Sunday, the Philippines reported 343 new coronavirus cases in a day - its highest one day increase yet. The total number of infections was at 1,418, and 71 people had died
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Much of the Philippines is under rigorous coronavirus lockdown.

On March 12, President Rodrigo Duterte imposed a soft lockdown on Manilla, the Philippines' capital. But it wasn't enough.

By March 16, he announced Luzon, a large island in the Philippines with a population larger than 57 million, would go under rigorous lockdown.

Along with schools closing, people working from home, and restricted movements, soldiers are covering people and the streets in disinfectant using water cannons, while open coffins are left on the roads as a warning to people to stay inside.

Despite the lockdown, on March 29 the Philippines reported a daily increase of 343 new coronavirus cases - its highest one day increase yet. The total number of infections was at 1,418 and 71 people had died.

Here's what it's like.


On March 12, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced Manila, the country's capital, with a population of about 12.8 million, would go under what Al Jazeera described as a "soft lockdown" to try stop the coronavirus from spreading.

Rouelle Umali/Xinhua / Getty

At that point, the country had 53 confirmed cases and two deaths.

Sources: Al Jazeera, Reuters, South China Morning Post


The president's resolution said that mass gatherings were banned, schools were closed for a month, and any community that had cases would be quarantined. Authorities monitored 56 checkpoints blocking the entry points to every district in Metro Manila.

Ezra Acayan/Getty

Sources: Reuters, Al Jazeera


He said there would be a halt to travel by land, sea, or air. This aerial photo shows an expressway on the outskirts of Metro Manila just hours before the lockdown went into place.

Ezra Acayan/Getty

Source: Reuters


At around the same time, at one of the international airports in Manila, crowds pushed forward hoping to get onto a flight out of the city before lockdown was enforced.

Ezra Acayan/Getty

These people were trying to take buses out of the city. Public health advocate Benedict Bernabe told Al Jazeera the "mass exodus" of people meant there were suddenly suspected cases across the country. He said: "What we need now is a national lockdown."

Ezra Acayan/Getty

Source: Al Jazeera


Over the next few days, the lockdown was criticised for having too many exceptions. About 2 million daily commuters, as well as government officials, and business owners could come and go from Manila.

Jes Aznar/Getty

Source: South China Morning Post


Dr. Anthony Leachon, a former president of the Philippine College of Physicians, told the South China Morning Post that it had to be "all or nothing," and what was imposed was "a mockery of community quarantine concept."

Ezra Acayan/Getty

Source: South China Morning Post


On March 16, Duterte increased the lockdown. By then, there were more than 140 confirmed cases and a dozen deaths. He announced all of mainland Luzon, which has more than 57 million people, would be under an "enhanced quarantine" enforced by police and military, until April 12.

Ezra Acayan/Getty

Source: Bloomberg


Duterte said workers had to work from home to "significantly" limit movement, according to Bloomberg. The only time people were allowed to leave was to buy groceries, medicine, and other basic necessities.

Ezra Acayan/Getty

Source: Bloomberg


Disinfection workers armed with water cannons sprayed the streets with disinfectant on March 23.

Ezra Acayan/Getty

Sources: Al Jazeera, The Guardian


Coffins were placed in the middle of roads as an ominous warning to deter residents from leaving their homes. On the coffins, a message said: "Stay at home or stay inside."

Ezra Acayan/Getty

Source: South China Morning Post


Those who did go out could be doused in disinfectant. Here, a little girl was sprayed down before entering a government building in Metro Manila.

Ezra Acayan/Getty

But it's not easy for all to stay home. Renato Reyes, secretary-general of a left-wing political group told Al Jazeera: "Social distancing and work from home is impossible for daily wage earners."

Ezra Acayan/Getty

Source: Al Jazeera


He said: "For them, it is no work, no pay so no choice. They will risk getting COVID-19 to keep their jobs."

Ezra Acayan/Getty

Source: Al Jazeera


The lines of motorists at a health checkpoint are shown in the day and at night.

Ezra Acayan/Getty

A taxi driver named Bobric Cabllo told Al Jazeera: "This COVID-19 is worse than a war. We are all affected. But the worst hit are our livelihoods."

Ezra Acayan/Getty

Source: Al Jazeera


In a bid to stop the coronavirus from spreading, some residents have begun putting up makeshift barricades to stop people coming into their communities and spreading the coronavirus.

Ezra Acayan/Getty

Source: The Guardian


While others were wary of the quarantine since it had similarities to martial law, according to Al Jazeera — in particular, the possibility of being arrested for violating the lockdown. The country was under martial law in the 1970s, and only recently Duterte's administration reportedly allowed extrajudicial killings of drug dealers.

Ezra Acayan/Getty

Source: Al Jazeera


Religious gatherings have been suspended as well, until April 14. Here, a Catholic priest prepares to hold mass over a livestream.

Ezra Acayan/Getty

Source: The National


Despite the ban, at least one woman went to an empty church to pray on March 22 in Manila.

Ezra Acayan/Getty

Even with the increased lockdown measures, on March 29, the Philippines reported a daily increase of 343 new coronavirus cases. The total number of infections was at 1,418, and 71 people had died.

Ezra Acayan/Getty

Source: Reuters

Receive a daily update on your cellphone with all our latest news: click here.

Also from Business Insider South Africa:

  • Indicators
  • JSE Indexes
17.00
-0,09%
21.24
-0,12%
19.14
-0,13%
$1,774.74
0,03%
54521.90
-0,17%
DAILY BUSINESS INSIDER UPDATE

Get the best of our site delivered to your inbox every day.

Sign Up