Philippines eases blockade of capital

The Philippines decided to ease the blockade of the capital Manila despite the record number of nCoV infections, to facilitate the resumption of economic activities.

“We should strive to ensure comprehensive health. This can only be achieved by balancing the response to Covid-19 prudently, taking into account both the health of the population and the health of the population at the same time. national economy,” said Harry Roque, spokesman for Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, today.

Metro Manila will be placed on the second highest alert under the new classification system. The current blockade model covering cities and regions has been replaced by local lockdowns, targeting certain buildings or residential areas.

A deserted street in Quezon City, in the Manila metropolitan area in the Philippines, on August 9.  Photo: Reuters.

A deserted street in Quezon City, in the Manila metropolitan area in the Philippines, on August 9. Photo: Reuters.

Those who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 in the Manila area since September 16 can dine inside restaurants, or go to beauty salons operating at up to 10% capacity.

Outdoor locations also reopened at 30% maximum capacity, allowed to serve customers regardless of immunization status. Meanwhile, churches are regulated to operate at 10%. Other gatherings of people in enclosed spaces are still prohibited.

According to Commerce Secretary Ramon Lopez, the consecutive closures since the beginning of the pandemic have left more than 2 million workers in the food and entertainment sector in Manila unemployed. President Duterte has also said that the Philippines cannot afford to continue the blockade.

However, the epidemic situation in the country is still worrying as the number of infections reaches new record levels. More than 140,000 infections were recorded in the past week with the sweep of the Delta variant. Meanwhile, only 22% of adults in the Philippines are vaccinated.

In a televised address today, Duterte said vaccination work, currently limited to priority areas, could be started with the entire adult population from next month “if resources are available”. stable vaccine supply”.

Luster (Follow AFP)

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