Sense of dread beneath the stillness in Manila

Duterte belatedly acts to contain the Covid-19 outbreak, but will the month-long lockdown be sustainable or effective?

MANILA • Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has placed the country's capital and the industrial heartland in the northern island of Luzon, under a month-long lockdown in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

"The crisis is very, very clear," he said late last week, describing the measure as a proactive effort towards "protecting public interest and public health".

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 21, 2020, with the headline 'Sense of dread beneath the stillness in Manila'. Subscribe