Philippines Joint Task Force Covid Shield Commander Cesar Binag said that police in Manila will resort to using sticks to maintain social distance in public areas amid the spread of the coronavirus, the government news agency reported on Friday.
Lieutenant general Binag said the authorities decided to increase the number of police officers in crowded places such as markets, shopping centers, churches and ports, since social distancing measures were not being observed by shoppers in Divisoria market, according to the PNA news agency.
"We have doubled the deployment of cops and soldiers would also assist us in physical distancing patrols. This was what our chief PNP [Philippine National Police], Gen. Debold Sinas ordered. They have one-meter rattan sticks to enforce the physical distancing rule", Binag said, as cited by the PNA news agency.
The PNP chief, Gen. Debold Sinas, has said that the number of people attending the Misa De Gallo (Christmas celebration), including those in Camp Crame (the national headquarters of PNP), should be controlled.
Sinas said that the PNP would strictly control religious gatherings, to enforce the "no-caroling" and "no Christmas party" policy.
To date, Philippines has confirmed 435,413 COVID-19 cases, with a death toll of 8,446, according to the World Health Organisation.