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Philippines to lift most Covid restrictions in Manila from tomorrow

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Flickr/Asian Development Bank

A spokesperson for Rodrigo Duterte, President of the Philippines, says most Covid-19 restrictions in the capital, Manila, will be lifted from tomorrow. According to an AFP report, it comes as government officials declare Manila’s vaccination rate to be 100%, although it’s much lower elsewhere in the country. Manila has also experienced a sharp decline in case numbers. The country just recently re-opened to vaccinated international travellers.

The dropping of most Covid rules in Manila comes as the country gears up for its national elections on May 9. AFP reports that businesses, government agencies, and public transport will once again be allowed to operate at full capacity, with Manila moved to the lowest alert level from tomorrow. Face masks will still be mandatory in public, but will no longer be required while exercising or playing sport. The relaxation is also being extended to another 38 areas of the country. Businesses will no longer be required to carry out temperature checks prior to granting entry and contact-tracing will be dropped.

Covid-19 infections in the Philippines peaked at 39,004 on January 15, due to the rapid spread of the highly-contagious Omicron variant. By comparison, they’ve averaged 1,421 over the past week. The move to lift most restrictions in the capital will be welcomed by the people of Manila, after lengthy lockdowns devastated the economy, with millions losing their jobs.

The Philippines has reported over 3.6 million Covid-19 cases and over 56,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

SOURCE: AFP

 

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