Total lockdown in General Santos City every Sunday

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 4) — A new rule in General Santos City: now even those with quarantine passes will be forced to stay home every Sunday, as the local government steps up measures to remain coronavirus-free.

A total lockdown will be imposed every Sunday starting April 5, the city government of General Santos announced in its Facebook page Friday night.

"Suspendido ang Home Quarantine Pass tuwing Linggo (Home quarantine passes are suspended every Sunday)," the city government said, except those with emergency and medical needs.

Only the following people will be allowed to leave their homes every Sunday: frontliners in the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak, pharmacy staff, police and military personnel, barangay tanods (village watchmen), government workers under the skeletal workforces, workers involved in offering basic necessities such as food, and church leaders and their assistants who will conduct online service.

City Administrator Atty. Arnel Zapatos said the lockdown was put in place to limit the movement of people in order to stem the spread of the virus.

To restrict further the movement of people, an odd-even number scheme for vehicles will be enforced beginning Monday, April 6.

General Santos City is under enhanced community quarantine – similar to the one imposed by President Rodrigo Duterte in Luzon – restricting people's movement to contain the spread of COVID-19.

There are currently 10 patients under investigation for possible coronavirus infection in General Santos City. Previously, eight tested negative for COVID-19.

Nationwide, the number of COVID-19 cases has risen to 3,094 with 144 deaths and 57 recoveries.