Philippines Puts Capital Manila Back on a Stricter Lockdown

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The Philippines will put its capital Manila back on a stricter lockdown starting Tuesday as coronavirus cases surged more than fivefold after easing its curbs in June.

President Rodrigo Duterte approved his Cabinet’s proposal to tighten restrictions in metro Manila and nearby provinces for 15 days, following doctors’ recommendation to reimpose thelockdown as a spike in infections overwhelmed the health-care system.

Local virus cases rose again by a daily record to 103,185 on Sunday, the second-highest in Southeast Asia. A total of 2,059 have died from the outbreak.

Under the stricter quarantine, stay-home orders will be reimposed, and public transport, including air travel, will be halted. Malls except leisure shops and restaurants with take-out and delivery options can open with half of their workforce. Barber shops, salons and gyms would be shut.

Duterte approved the hiring of 10,000 medical professionals and the recommendation to issue work and quarantine passes to minimize movement, spokesman Harry Roque said.

Days before the stricter lockdown was announced, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said the Philippine economy — which is facing its deepest contraction in three decades — was starting torecover from its worst in April and May when the most stringent restrictions were imposed.

— With assistance by Cecilia Yap

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