Philippines plans new lockdown strategy
September 07 2021 12:30 AM
A cyclist passes a nearly empty road in Manila
(File photo) A cyclist passes on an empty road in Manila, Philippines.

Reuters/ Manila

The Philippines will relax some Covid-19 restrictions in the Manila region from tomorrow and also intends to outline plans to shift to smaller, localised lockdowns to support the economy, the presidential spokesperson said.
The moves come despite the country reporting record infection numbers as it battles the Delta variant.
The government believed localised Covid restrictions would be more effective in controlling outbreaks without constraining mobility and business activity too much, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque told a briefing.
Region-wide lockdowns have proved to be costly for the economy, which is now expected to grow less than previously thought after the capital region was placed under the strictest “enhanced community quarantine” (ECQ) restrictions last month, which were later eased.
The second toughest quarantine measures in place in Metro Manila will expire today after which the region will be under the more relaxed “general community quarantine” restriction until the end of September, Roque said.
This means dine-in services will be allowed as well as religious gatherings of up to 10% of capacity among others.
“The truth of the matter is the ECQ as we practice it may not be enough, we need to come up with new strategy,” he said.
Roque said localised lockdowns, which President Rodrigo Duterte approved in principle, will be pilot tested in the capital region with guidelines on when and how they will be implemented released today.
“It will be literally a complete lockdown if you are subject to granular lockdown — even the food will be delivered to you,” Roque said

Last updated: September 07 2021 12:30 AM

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