Philippines under state of calamity due to COVID-19

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 17) — President Rodrigo Duterte has placed the Philippines under a state of calamity due to the coronavirus disease or COVID-19 pandemic.

In a signed order dated March 16th, released to the public on Tuesday, the Philippines will remain under a state of calamity for six months "unless earlier lifted or extended as circumstances may warrant."

A state of calamity means the national and local government can access its quick response funds to address the needs of the public and enhance disaster preparedness efforts amid its fight against COVID-19, a disease which has already infected 187 people in the country and killed 12 others.

Proclamation Order No. 929 also mentioned the "enhanced community quarantine" measure imposed on the entire island of Luzon which began Monday and will run until April 12. This means strict home quarantine for residents, suspensions of work and mass transportation, and travel restrictions.

Under the proclamation, all government agencies and local government units shall render full assistance and cooperation with each other to mobilize resources for disaster response aid and measures. Law enforcement groups such as the Armed Forces will also "undertake all necessary measures to ensure peace and order."