Residents of Sampaloc in the city of Manila reported hearing a siren used in the American film “The Purge” when the city government signaled the start of the “hard lockdown” over the district which has the highest COVID-19 cases.
Recordings of the siren were uploaded by some residents on Twitter where they also expressed their fear and anxiety over the use of the sound.
“Here in Sampaloc, hindi ka matatakot sa COVID pero sa The Purge na tunog ‘pag may announcement,” a Twitter user wrote.
The Purge @ Dapitan, Sampaloc pic.twitter.com/nMFPXK8JYf
— noelle (@nellyclvia) March 16, 2020
“So bakit may pa-siren sa Sampaloc, ano ‘to, The Purge????” online user asked.
the purge na dito sa sampaloc hahahahaha pic.twitter.com/rVu4pMoAqk
— bianca (@fullsvnc) March 19, 2020
Another online user claimed of having a friend in Nagtahan who shared that a “broadcast is played over loudspeaker, followed by siren-like sound of the movie called the Purge, [to signal] that hard lockdown has started.”
The purge na rin dito sa sampaloc oyyy!! pic.twitter.com/7Hd7L7u8am
— Vico ψ (@nicholo101) March 21, 2020
“The Purge” is a dystopian thriller-action flick released in 2013, which has later become a series of movies.
“In the Purge films, the United States sits in an era when the New Founding Fathers of America (NFFA) have initiated ‘the Purge,’ a yearly 12-hour period in which all crime is legal nationwide (including murder),” Forbes described the film.
A siren is played to commence that 12-hour period. There is also an announcement that alerts the fictional residents of the annual activity:
“This is your emergency broadcast system announcing the commencement of the annual purge. At the siren, all emergency services will be suspended for 12 hours. Your government thanks you for your participation.”
A town in Tarlac also used a similar alarm to signal the announcement of the curfew hours enforcement in light of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine that was initially imposed by President Rodrigo Duterte on March 17.
Barangay Bularit of Gerona, Tarlac also uploaded a modified announcement inspired by the movie on its Facebook page.
Residents of Opon Merkado in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu also experienced hearing the same siren when the local government unit used it to signal the start of the curfew.
Some cities in the United States, the country where “The Purge” was produced, similarly encountered the siren in real life.
The city of Crowley in Acadia Parish, Louisiana, United States used the siren to signal curfew hours established to control movement in a bid to reduce COVID-19 transmission.
The district of Sampaloc in Manila has the highest number of novel coronavirus cases. As of April 23, it has 110 confirmed cases and 166 suspect cases.
Manila Mayor Isko Moreno placed the district under “hard lockdown” from April 23 (8:00 p.m.) to April 25 (8:00 p.m.) in order to conduct disease surveillance, rapid risk assessment and COVID-19 testing operations.
During “hard lockdown,” residents of the district are strictly confined to their homes and are currently prohibited from going out.
Those exempted from the directive are healthcare workers, police and military personnel, government employers, service workers, barangay officers and media practitioners accredited by the government.
Commercial, retail, institutional and other businesses are not allowed to operate within the designated period.
Moreno previously gave the residents two days to prepare for the lockdown.
As of 12 noon on April 24, Sampaloc Police Station said it has apprehended 65 quarantine violators.