Italy is now the epicenter of COVID-19 outside of Asia, suffering 27,980 cases, of which there have already been 2,158 deaths. The country is on nationwide lockdown following the increasing severity of the pandemic in the first two weeks of March.
In a gripping Facebook post, Milan-based Filipina fashion student Mickaella Jorgia Bergantino urged Filipinos to comply with the community quarantine directive and avoid leaving their homes, citing the "mistakes" made by Italians.
"We have been there. We didn't listen. We continued to go out and meet people even though we were told not to. We underestimated the situation. And look where we are right now. 10 [thousand] plus of infected and we are forced to stay at home," she wrote on March 12.
"Do not do the same mistakes like we did. Stay at home while you are not being forced. Do your job as a citizen. Your role in obedience will lead a big impact to the society. It doesn't matter if your plans are or were cancelled. Your life and health [are] more important than that."
Read her full post below:
In response to the pandemic, President Rodrigo Duterte declared yesterday, March 16, that Luzon is under enhanced community quarantine, which saw the suspension of mass transit and the closing of malls and other establishments deemed non-essential. An updated announcement from the President earlier today, March 17, declared that the Philippines will be under a state of calamity for a period of six months unless lifted earlier, following the increasing count of COVID-19 cases in the country, which is now at 187.