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Philippines to extend night curfew in Manila amid COVID-19 surge

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GOVERNMENT official has said that Philippines will be extending a night curfew in the capital, Manila, amid tightening curbs in the Southeast Asian country to combat a potential surge in cases of the Delta variant of COVID-19.

  Benjamin Abalos, Chairman of the region’s government body, stated, Metropolitan Manila, already subject to a six hour curfew from 10:00 p.m. (1400 GMT), will bring forward that curfew by two hours to 8:00 p.m. (1200 GMT.

  In a briefing, Abalos said, “We are only asking for two weeks. This will stop the virus for the meantime. What’s important is our hospitals don’t get full”.

  He noted that authorities have deployed police personnel to quarantine checkpoints in Metropolitan Manila, where inbound and outbound travel will be restricted.

  In his contribution, the Presidential spokesman, Harry Roque explained that the region, home to more than 13 million people, will be placed under strict lockdown from Aug. 6 to 20.

  Meanwhile, COVID-19 cases in the Philippines exceeded 8,000 a day from Friday to Monday thus Sunday’s recorded tally of 8,735 infections was the highest since May 28.

  City Councilor, David Tumulak told local media that in the central province of Cebu, the number of cases overwhelmed healthcare facilities adding that two of Cebu City’s 15 hospitals were at “critical levels”.

  Morealso, report disclosed that a surge in COVID-19 cases driven by the Delta variant has been rattling parts of Asia, including countries which had been relatively successful at containing the virus.

  Just 200 cases of the Delta variant had been detected in the community, of which 17 were still active, Philippines Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said, although genome testing capacity in the country is limited.

  Strict quarantine curbs could help cap the number of active COVID-19 cases to around 25,000 by the end of September, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a separate Monday briefing.

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