The global pandemic coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has affected millions worldwide. Presently in the Philippines, there are more than 250,000 cases, with more than 58,000 active cases, and 4,000 dead. The government responded to the crisis using public health measures including travel restrictions, strict community quarantine protocols, work suspension, and promotion of proper hygiene and a strong immune system.
Metro Manila is the center of COVID-19 crisis in the Philippines. At least 54% of the total number of cases in the country is found in Metro Manila. The protracted quarantine measures resulted in severe consequences for urban poor communities. This includes economic displacement particularly for daily wage earners and workers in the informal sector, limited access to basic services, and issues with safety and security. Restrictions were also met with difficulties as urban settlements are often densely packed, overcrowded, and often lacking basic facilities, thereby increasing the risk to spread infection. [FULL STORY]