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COVID-19 lockdown displaces over 2mn workers in Philippines

The lockdown imposed in the Philippines since mid-March to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus has displaced over 2 million workers, government data showed on Monday.
COVID-19 lockdown displaces over 2mn workers in Philippines

Manila, April 27 The lockdown imposed in the Philippines since mid-March to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus has displaced over 2 million workers, government data showed on Monday.

"Reports from Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) regional offices showed a continued swelling of the number of displaced workers," Xinhua news agency quoted Labour Secretary Silvestre Bello as saying said in a statement.

Citing reports from 79,271 establishments submitted on April 24, Bello said affected workers in the Philippines increased to 2,073,362.

On April 24, President Rodrigo Duterte announced the extension of the strict lockdown measures across several parts of the country, including capital Manila, until May 15 in an attempt to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Apart from the capital region, the strict lockdown will be maintained during three more weeks in areas such as the island of Luzon - Pangasinan, Benguet, Catanduanes and Albay provinces apart from the central Luzon region - where half of its population lives.

The quarantine will also be extended in the island provinces of Mindoro, Cebu, Atique, Iloilo and in the central part of the country along with North Davao and Davao city in the southern island of Mindanao.

Low-risk areas have been excluded from the extensions, which means that people can go out of their homes for basic necessities and public transport will resume with a reduced capacity.

Since the outbreak of the infection in January, the Philippines has reported 7,579 cases with 501 deaths.

( With inputs from IANS )

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