The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police have begun preparations for the possibility of health authorities raising Code Red sub-level 2 in light of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak.
They are ready to enforce any lockdown in the capital by deploying troops, should it be deemed mandatory.
According to General Archie Francisco Gamboa, the national police chief, there are 40,000 police officers in the capital region who can help with placing large numbers under quarantine.
“We will be utilizing the NCRPO which has a strength of around 28,000 and the PNP here in Camp Crame, to include national support units, is around 10,000. So more or less, we have 38,000 to 40,000 to utilize in case these things would come up.”
First Lieutenant Arrianne Bichara, the spokesman for the joint task force, also stated that there are 1,500 soldiers from the Joint Task Force who are ready to assist the national police.
The PNP-PIO clarified in a statement this March 12 that they have not issued any order for the lockdown of NCR. They simply stated that they are prepared to address any contingency.
— DILG Philippines (@DILGPhilippines) March 12, 2020
There are currently 49 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines. The Department of Health seeks to remind everyone to remain calm and practice precautionary measures against the virus.
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