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Philippines tightens lockdown due to surge of COVID-19 cases

Manila, Aug 3 A stricter lockdown will come into force from Tuesday in the Philippines requiring residents of ...
Philippines tightens lockdown due to surge of COVID-19 cases

Manila, Aug 3 A stricter lockdown will come into force from Tuesday in the Philippines requiring residents of Metro Manila and four nearby provinces to stay at home due to a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases.

President Rodrigo Duterte reverted late on Sunday that Metro Manila and the outlying provinces of Laguna, Cavite, Rizal and Bulacan, where many of the fresh COVID-19 cases were recorded, will be under stricter "modified enhanced community quarantine" (MECQ) effective from Tuesday to August 18, reports Xinhua news agency.

Public transport will be shut down in these areas and police checkpoints will be set up to limit the movement of people.

Only residents with government-issued passes will be allowed to leave home for essential errands such as shopping for basic commodities.

The Philippines reported 5,032 confirmed new cases on Sunday, breaking a previous high of 4,963 new cases on Saturday, following 4,063 new cases on Friday and 3,954 new cases on Thursday, according to the Department of Health (DOH).

The overall caseload currently stands at 85,486, with 1,962 deaths.

The DOH said the Philippines has experienced a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases after shifting from the strictest lockdown restrictions enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to a more relaxed general community quarantine (GCQ) on June 1.

In mid-March, the Philippines imposed a lockdown in Metro Manila and other high-risk regions to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The restriction measures strictly limited the movement of the people and halted economic activities due to the travel bans and temporary closures of schools, transport and businesses.

The prolonged containment that continues up to now forced private businesses to cut production and lay off employees.

( With inputs from IANS )

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