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This Week in Metro Manila (July 11 to 17, 2020)

As COVID-19 cases rise in the Philippines, Metro Manila sees new adjustments.

By: Denisse Shawntel Tan | July 11, 2020
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Metro Manila, Manila, COVID-19, quarantine, coronavirus, Quarantine News, Transportation News, Shopping News, Health News

The Philippines has recently reached over 40,000 cases of COVID-19. Currently, the country now has the most number of active cases in the ASEAN region. As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to grow, more quarantine measures in Metro Manila are implemented to lessen the spread of the coronavirus.

For instance, a barangay hall in Navotas City was placed on lockdown due to employees testing positive. In terms of transportation, international air travel resumed last July 8. Meanwhile, commuters in the city have to pack extra patience because the MRT-3 has shut down after a big number of their employees tested positive for COVID-19.

Shopping will also be limited in San Juan City as the Agora Market remains closed, but Robinsons’ “GoRobinson” app will be helpful as it expands its services to the area. In Taguig, several spots were marked safe for outdoor exercises. For more details on all these Metro Manila updates, read on.

Quarantine News

Barangay hall in Navotas City placed under 13-day lockdown

The North Bay Boulevard South (NBBS) Dagat-Dagatan Barangay Hall was placed under a 13-day lockdown starting last July 5 after six employees tested positive for COVID-19. Under Navotas City Mayor Toby Tiangco's Executive Order No. TMTM-036 series of 2020, the barangay hall and everywhere within a 50-meter radius will be placed on lockdown from July 5 to July 18. Portions of Dalag and Langaray, which also surround the barangay hall, are also seen as hotspots for COVID-19.

During the lockdown, no one will be allowed to leave their households except medical frontliners and other essential workers, who have to bring valid IDs or certificates of employment. Along with disinfection of the area, target testing will also be conducted for residents and employees [1]. Barangay hall personnel who will test negative will be assigned to manage a satellite desk and provide relief packs for other affected residents. Currently, the city government has recorded 79 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Barangay NBBS Dagat-Dagatan. There have been 27 recoveries and 7 deaths.

Transportation News

International flights at NAIA resume operation

International air travels resumed operations at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 starting last July 8, according to the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA). The NAIA Terminal 3 has been closed since March 28. According to MIAA, airlines that were previously transferred to Terminal 1 last year will return to Terminal 3 [2], so the following will operate at Terminal 3:

• All Nippon Airways (ANA)
• Airasia Berhad (AK)
• Cathay Pacific (CX)
• Emirates (EK)
• KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM)
• Qatar Airways (QR)
• Singapore Airlines (SQ)
• Turkish Airlines (TK)

Meanwhile, the international operations of airlines assigned to Terminal 3 will remain suspended until further notice. These airlines include Cebu Pacific, Delta Air, Qantas Airways, and United Airlines. Philippine Airlines’ international arrival flights will continue to operate at NAIA Terminal 2, but international departures will be at Terminal 1.

Finally, airlines that were assigned in Terminal 1 will remain in Terminal 1. These airlines are the following:

• Air China (CA)
• Air Niugini (PX)
• Asiana Airlines (OZ)
• China Airlines (CI)
• China Eastern (MU)
• China Southern (CZ)
• Etihad Airways (EY)
• Eva Air (BR)
• Ethiopian Airlines (ET)
• Gulf Air (GF)
• Hong Kong Airlines
• Japan Airlines (JL)
• Jeju Air (7C)
• Jetstar Asia (3K )
• Jetstar Japan (GK)
• Korean Airlines (KE)
• Kuwait Airways (KU)
• Malaysian Airlines (MH)
• Oman Air (WY)
• Royal Brunei Airlines (BI)
• Saudia Airlines (SV)
• Scoot (TR)
• Thai Airways (TG)
• Xiamen Air

Terminal 4 still remains closed. MIAA advises the public to monitor their official websites and Facebook page for announcements.

IATF lifts suspension of non-essential outbound travels

Under the Inter-Agency Task Force’s (IATF) Resolution 52 signed on July 6, the suspension of non-essential outbound travels of Filipinos will be lifted. However, there are several conditions to be followed. For one, travelers must have adequate health insurance to cover their accommodation and rebooking expenses. Confirmed roundtrip tickets must also be submitted by those who are travelling on tourist visas. Travelers must also sign a declaration acknowledging the risks of travelling. Finally, Filipino tourists may only travel to their destination country as long as it is in accordance with the country’s travel, health, and quarantine restrictions (i.e., the country does not ban the entry of Filipinos). [3]

Over 200 MRT-3 staff test positive for COVID-19

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) announced that 202 MRT-3 staff have been with COVID-19 as of July 8. DOTr Undersecretary for Rails Timothy John Batan said that of the figure, 181 are depot staff, 16 are station personnel (including tellers from North Avenue, GMA-Kamuning, Cubao, and Quezon Ave Stations, a reserve status employee, and a nurse), 3 are train drivers, and 2 are control center employees. Among these infected employees, only two showed developed symptoms and the rest are asymptomatic [4]. Employees who are awaiting their results are also currently in quarantine. The cases were discovered after the IATF ordered the mass swab testing of all MRT-3 employees.

The MRT-3 management also decided to suspend operations until July 11 to test 3,200 employees. The management said that the trains could resume limited operations if at least 1,300 personnel test negative. Transport officials also advised commuters who had used the MRT-3 to monitor themselves for symptoms in case they had come into contact with positive employees. During the temporary shutdown, all of the MRT-3 facilities will be disinfected. To accommodate commuters, the MRT-3 management will continue their bus augmentation program. Additional 150 buses will be deployed between Monumento and Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX) via the EDSA Busway service.

Motorcycle back-riding now allowed for couples

The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) allowed motorcycle back-rides for couples starting July 10. Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said that they will allow back-riding as long as couples wear masks and protective gear like helmets. Couples who are allowed to do so must be married and living in the same household. They are required to present a photocopy of their marriage contract. In the past, the government banned back-riding in motorcycles during the start of the community quarantine due to the lack of physical distancing [5].

Shopping News

Agora Market in San Juan remains closed

San Juan Mayor Francis Zamora announced that the Agora Market will remain closed as they wait for the swab test results conducted on market workers and vendors. The market was temporarily closed on July 1 after one vendor tested positive for COVID-19. The said patient is currently being treated and isolated. Others who were in close contact with the patient are also tested and placed in quarantine. The vendor was found positive after the San Juan local government conducted random polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests on 644 market vendors and workers [6].

GoRobinsons expands services to Mandaluyong, Makati, and San Juan

GoRobinsons, Robinsons’ online grocery delivery service app, expanded its services to Makati, Mandaluyong, and San Juan. The app lets the users have their essentials and groceries delivered at their homes. Previously, they also expanded their coverage to eastern parts of Manila such as Cainta, Pasig, Marikina, and Lower Antipolo. Users can pay using debit or credit cards and cash on delivery. Free delivery will also be given to single-receipt purchases of at least PhP3,500 [7].

Health News

‘Exercise safe zones’ designated in Taguig

Several areas in Taguig City are marked as ‘exercise safe zones’ by the Taguig City Government. The safe zones are places where residents can exercise as long as they comply with minimum health and safety standards; personnel will be deployed to monitor residents. The safety zones include the Bayani Road in the Heritage Memorial Park area, Taguig Lakeshore complex, and the 3.5-km C6 Bike Lane in Brgy. Lower Bicutan [8].

Personnel at the Heritage Memorial Park previously gave free masks and drinks who were working out at the area. Along with putting up various signage in the sites, the local government also reminds residents to be vigilant and alert authorities of violators. Stations for bike repairs, monitoring, and help desks will also be set up in the safe zones.

Chinese General Hospital reaches full capacity for COVID-19 cases

Last July 6, the Chinese General Hospital and Medical Center announced that their hospital wards for COVID-19 are already at full capacity. In their statement, the hospital said that they can no longer accept COVID-19 patients and PUIs, but their doors are open for non-COVID-19 patients. They also recommended patients to go to other COVID designated hospitals and other facilities. The hospital assured the public that they will assess their capabilities on a daily basis so that they can continue to meet demands.

The Chinese General Hospital and Medical Center is the latest addition to a list of hospitals that have utilized 100% of their COVID-19 dedicated beds. Other facilities include the Veterans Memorial Medical Center, UST Hospital, University of Perpetual Help, Tondo Medical Center, Siemens Hospital, Philippine Children’s Medical Center, Metro North Medical Center Hospital, Las Piñas Doctors Hospital, De Los Santos Medical Center, and Capitol Medical Center [9].

Visit Yoorekka for more updates on Metro Manila.

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About Denisse Shawntel Tan
Denisse Tan is currently a work in progress: she’s an aspiring writer, artist, and fashion designer! She’s trying to figure out how to manage her time in achieving all of her goals while also taking in life as humanly possible. Aside from art, she’s a big fan of the color pink, disco music, Bratz dolls, and Genshin Impact. By age 35, she plans to travel to New York City 🗽.
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