Philippines extends Covid curbs in capital region, other provinces till Sept 7
The Philippines on Saturday extended its second-highest level of restrictions against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the capital region of Metro Manila and other provinces till September 7, as the country continues to battle a renewed surge in infections driven by community transmission of the Delta variant. Harry Roque, the spokesperson for President Rodrigo Duterte, said in a statement that Metro Manila will remain under the modified enhanced community quarantine. The restrictions were earlier set to end on August 31.
Businesses in Metro Manila can operate up to 50 per cent on-site capacity under the restrictions. However, dining-in in restaurants, religious activities, personal care services, bars, beauty parlours will continue to remain closed. The capital region is home to over 13 million people and is currently the Philippines’ Covid-19 epicentre.
Meanwhile, the second toughest restrictions on movement were also imposed in nine provinces and six cities, which have been witnessing a massive surge in infections.
The Philippines, which is currently one of the worst-hit from Covid-19 across Asia, has so far reported 1,916,461 cases, 32,841 deaths and 1,741,089 recoveries. On Friday, the country recorded another high of 17,447 new cases while 113 patients died and 6,771 recovered from the viral disease, according to the department of health’s (DOH’s) bulletin.
The department of health’s epidemiology bureau director Alethea De Guzman said on Thursday that daily cases and deaths were rising in the country, and classified Metro Manila as a “high-risk area”, adding the region will probably see new peaks of new infections in the upcoming days because of the upward Covid-19 trend.
On Monday, the DOH said the Delta variant had spread to communities in the capital region and also in the Calabarzon region. Guzman also pointed out on Thursday that the variant has been identified in the country’s 17 regions.
On the vaccination front, the government has secured 194.89 million vaccine doses till now, which is sufficient to vaccinate about 100.5 million citizens or over 100 per cent of the country’s adult population, the finance ministry said, adding the government could administer doses to everyone by January 2022.
(With agency inputs)