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Philippines allows churches to resume Mass as caseload tops 20,000

DPA
Manila
The Philippine government on Thursday announced it was allowing churches to resume Mass and other religious gatherings in areas with a low risk of coronavirus infections.
Religious gatherings and work conferences are allowed to take place at 50-per-cent venue capacity in areas under the so-called modified general community quarantine, the most lax restriction protocol, said presidential spokesman Harry Roque.
Dine-in services have also been allowed in restaurants in these areas, according to a resolution by the country’s coronavirus task force.
“This is good news for those who really want to go to church,” Roque said.
The Department of Health reported 634 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday, bringing the national tally to 20,382. There were also 10 more deaths, bring that toll to 984, it added.
Nearly 60 percent of the cases and more than 74 percent of the deaths were in the capital, Metro Manila, which is under a stricter quarantine protocol until the middle of the month.

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