Philippines imposes strict lockdown to curb spread of COVID-19

 The Philippine government intends to impose strict restrictions on the capital region to curb the spread of more cases of the delta strain of the Corona virus, it was announced today.

Philippine presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the closure, which is locally called "enhanced community quarantine", will be imposed on the Manila metropolitan area from August 6 to 20.

Rocky added that under the restrictions, it will not be allowed to serve food inside restaurants, and religious gatherings will be suspended during that period. Only personal care services, such as barbershops, will operate at only 30% of their capacity.

He added that indoor entertainment venues may not work, while outdoor tourist attractions will only receive 30% of their capacity.

It is noteworthy that the announcement of the closure comes two days after experts called for the imposition of a two-week “circuit breaker closure” to prevent a “catastrophic” increase in the number of Covid-19 infections due to the Delta strain.

The new surge is already in its early stage in the Manila metropolitan area, with at least 1,000 cases reported daily, said Octa Research Group, an independent research organization that makes forecasts about the spread of COVID-19 in the Philippines.

According to OCTA's forecast, the number of daily cases in the capital, Manila, could rise to 13,000 by the end of August if the current quarantine restrictions are not tightened to a strict lockdown.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines reached more than 1.57 million as of Thursday, when the Ministry of Health recorded 5,735 new cases. The death toll rose to 27,577 after 176 cases were recorded.

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