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Philippines eases capital’s strict virus lockdown

Philippines eases capital’s strict virus lockdown

AFP
Manila
The Philippines will lift key coronavirus lockdown measures in the nation’s capital, President Rodrigo Duterte said Thursday, aiming to resuscitate a faltering economy after nearly three months of strict home quarantine.
Most businesses will be allowed to re-open from Monday and public transit is to return in a limited form, although children and the elderly will have to stay home unless they are out getting essentials or headed to work.
“Remember that the entire nation is under quarantine,” Duterte said in a late-night speech. “Let us move to the so-called ‘new normal’.”
Schools, bars, dine-in restaurants and barber shops will all remain shuttered.
Duterte’s announcement came hours after health officials announced 539 new coronavirus infections, the highest daily figure since the outbreak took off in March.
Health officials said that was primarily due to delays in submissions from testing labs and a manual process for validating results.
The Philippines has detected 15,588 cases with 921 deaths, but the number of infected is believed to be higher due to limited testing.
Manila has been under lockdown since mid-March, roughly the same time when hard-hit France and Spain issued their stay at home orders.
Trips to the grocery store have been allowed, but only workers deemed essential were allowed out while everyone else was expected to work from their homes.
Under the eased restrictions, most people will be allowed to go to their places of work, but working from home is still strongly encouraged.

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