MMDA lifts number coding ahead of Metro Manila travel restrictions amid COVID-19 threat

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 13)— The number coding scheme in the capital region has been lifted starting Friday morning ahead of the proposed travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement, Metro Manila Development Authority Spokesperson Celine Pialago said the coding suspension— which will cover both public and private vehicles— will stay until further notice.

The move comes as Metro Manila braces for a "community quarantine", with health authorities raising the highest COVID-19 alert on Thursday. President Rodrigo Duterte, upon the government task force's recommendation, announced that people living in Metro Manila would not be allowed in and out of the region by land, local air travel and local sea travel from midnight of March 15 until April 14.

COVID-19, now considered by WHO as a pandemic, has infected more than 128,000 people in 116 different countries and territories including China. Over 4,700 persons were killed by the disease as of Friday, according to the Johns Hopkins University's global tracker.

In the Philippines, 52 confirmed cases of the infectious disease have been recorded, including five casualties.