The Philippines will re-impose a stricter coronavirus lockdown in and around the capital for two weeks from Tuesday, President Rodrigo Duterte said Monday morning, as the country struggles to contain the infections which have soared to more than 100,000 cases.
Duterte has approved the placement of Metro Manila and neighboring provinces such as Laguna, Cavite, Rizal and Bulacan under the so-called “modified enhanced community quarantine” (MECQ) until August 18, his door said. -says Harry Roque to reporters.
Some businesses and public transport are expected to be closed in the capital, which currently falls under the less restrictive general community quarantine classification.
Work and quarantine passes will also be needed as authorities seek to restrict movement.
Some of the president’s allies have advised against a new lockdown, saying it could cripple the already struggling economy.
Duterte’s decision came after 80 local groups representing 80,000 doctors and one million nurses called for tighter controls, saying the country was losing the fight against the coronavirus.
” I heard you. Do not lose hope. We know you’re tired, ”Duterte said in a late-night televised speech that lasted early Monday.
The Philippines recorded 5,032 more infections on Sunday, the country’s largest single-day increase, bringing its confirmed coronavirus cases to 103,185. The death toll jumped 20 to 2,059.
It was the second highest number of COVID-19 infections and deaths in Southeast Asia, behind Indonesia.
Duterte also approved the hiring of 10,000 healthcare professionals to bolster the current workforce and additional benefits for healthcare workers treating patients with COVID-19, Roque said.
But in his message Monday morning, the Philippine president also denounced the doctors who sounded the alarm on the state of the health system of the country, daring them to “declare a revolution”.
“You really don’t know me. Do you want to revolutionize? So say it. Go ahead, try it. We are going to ruin everything. We will kill everyone who is infected with COVID, ”he said in a tirade.
” This is what you want? We can always end our existence this way. ”
It was not clear how Duterte approached the subject of a revolution, as the doctors’ declaration did not mention rising against the government.
In mid-March, Duterte imposed one of the world’s longest and strictest lockdowns in the capital and other provinces to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
He began easing restrictions in June in a bid to revive the national economy, which is now facing its sharpest contraction in more than three decades.