Philippines says wider lockdown is likely as coronavirus infections increase
January 26, 2022

Philippines says wider lockdown is likely as coronavirus infections increase

MANILA (PHILIPPINES) – A chance for a wider lockdown in the Philippines cannot be dismissed if its surge in COVID-19 infections continues, said its health minister on Wednesday. Authorities announced strict regulations on international arrivals to contain the virus spread.

The government is facing a slew of remarks over its handling of the epidemic after a surge in coronavirus cases, which is nearly 20,000 in the past four days.

Officials say the spike is due to a relaxing of some restrictions on mobility to allow people to resume work and revive the economy after a 9.5% contraction last year, Southeast Asia’s deepest economic slump.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque told ANC news channel, “If nothing changes and cases continue to rise, then the possibility of a more widespread lockdown is strong.” He added that he hoped that could be averted in the coming days.

The Philippines has recorded 631,320 infections and 12,848 deaths overall.

Starting from March 20 and continuing for a month, foreigners and some returning citizens will be restricted entry to the country, its coronavirus task force said late on Tuesday.

However, accredited officials of foreign governments, returning Filipino workers and emergency cases will be exempted. It has also arrivals to 1,500 per day at its main airport.

The capital, which is home to least 13 million people, has enforced a two-week curfew and ordered anyone below 18 to remain indoors.

“We have to be humble enough to admit we all have failed in so many aspects in terms of our preventive measures at both personal and institutional levels,” Aileen Espina, a public health specialist, told ANC.

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