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Duterte approves lockdown measures for Manila



PHOTO: Religion Digital/Flickr

The president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, AKA  Rody, or “The Punisher”, or “Duterte Harry”, has approved lockdown measures in the capital of the Philippines, Manila, today.  The move is an effort to thwart the spread of the Delta variant and to protect the country’s medical system.

Earlier in the week, Duterte expressed his lack of enthusiasm for lockdowns, framing his reluctance as “lest our economy bleeds to the point of irreversible damage. He also previously recommended his people clean their face masks with petrol.

Manila, which comprises a collection of 16 cities and is home to over 13 million people, will be locked under the “tightest quarantines curbs”, or “enhanced community quarantine”, starting August 6 and extending to August 20, says Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque in a televised address. Harry says it is a painful decision but is for the good of all.

The lockdown is anticipated to cost the Philippines economy $4 billion US dollars. It will prohibit people from leaving their homes, with the exception of essential shopping. Indoor/outdoor dining is banned. Local media reports that police checkpoints are likely to be established. Also, churches will be closed.

Benjamin Abalos, a chairperson from Manila’s council of mayors, says the Delta variant is already spread throughout Metro Manila. He adds that the mayors intend to increase vaccinations by administering 250,000 doses per day, an increase from the current 150,000 doses a day.

Officials from Octa Research says a “catastrophic surge” in Covid infections could be coming that might result in thousands of deaths unless the government acts immediately. The group suggest a 2 week “hard and early circuit-breaker lockdown”.

The Philippines is also extending a travel ban on visitors who come from 10 countries, such as India, Indonesia, Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates till August 15.

SOURCE: The Straits Times Bangkok Post


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