The Philippines has decided to bring the existing nighttime curfew in the capital of Manila forward by two hours in an attempt to quell soaring Covid-19 cases in the city, which is soon to be placed under strict lockdown.
Metropolitan Manila mayors reached a verdict to change the curfew and have it start at 8pm instead of 10pm, the chairperson of the governing organization, Benjamin Abalos, announced on Monday.
Abalos claimed that extending the curfew by two hours, when the two-week lockdown comes into effect on August 6, “will stop the virus for the meantime,” and said, “what’s important is our hospitals don’t get full.”
Police personnel have also been sent to quarantine checkpoints across the capital, as travel in and out of the region will be limited when the lockdown comes into force.
The lockdown announced on Friday will see the strictest measures enforced in the Metro Manila region, home to a population of 13 million people. From August 6, citizens will be under a stay-at-home mandate, with dining establishments closing their doors and mass-gatherings temporarily banned.
The decision to lock down came after the OCTA Research Group estimated that the capital city, which is already experiencing a “serious surge,” could see positive cases soar to 3,000 new infections per day by mid-August. On Sunday, 1,740 infections were recorded in Manila – the highest figure since May 10.
The OCTA also warned that hospital beds could reach 70% occupancy in under five weeks, while intensive care unit beds would be filled up to the same capacity in just under three weeks.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, the Philippines has recorded over 1.6 million coronavirus infections, the second-highest caseload in the region, behind hotspot Indonesia. The official Covid-19 death-toll in the Philippines stands at 28,093.
Like this story? Share it with a friend!