Business owner Jefferson Catimbang braced himself as Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte made the big announcement. On 16 March, a month-long quarantine was declared in Luzon—the main island group in the country, which includes the capital, Manila—to quell rising Covid-19 cases.
With the order taking effect the very next day, Catimbang had a few hours to figure out how to mitigate the huge blow to his 800-square metre wellness centre. Called Tribu Babaylan, it consists of a 40-bed spa salon, a cafe and a buffet restaurant that can seat 250 diners.
A quick calculation showed the business, which employs 80 people, would incur roughly US$128,000 in losses if closed down for a month.