Manila back on lockdown as virus cases rise

Public markets enforce strict compliance to safety precautions during the Covid 19 virus outbreak

Some 250,000 people in metro Manila will go back into lockdown this week, as the Philippines struggles to cope with a recent surge in Covid-19 cases.

Residents of Navotas, one of 16 cities that make up the sprawling capital of 12 million people, will have to stay home for a fortnight, just six weeks after emerging from a three-month lockdown, according to a report by Channel NewsAsia.

Metro Manila to reimpose lockdown amid surge in Covid-19 cases; a public market in Antipolo City, Philippines enforcing safety measures during the pandemic

Navotas, which has 931 confirmed cases and 59 deaths, has seen a spike in the number of new infections over the past fortnight.

Under the lockdown, residents will be allowed to go to work, but outdoor exercise will be banned, said the report. Shops and businesses can remain open but restaurants will only be allowed to do takeaways, it added.

Metro Manila, which is the epicentre of the country’s outbreak, went into lockdown in mid-March and only began to reopen at the start of June, with limited public transport and businesses operating with a skeleton staff.

However, the easing of restrictions alongside the return of thousands of overseas workers has led to a surge in new cases across the country. Several neighbourhoods have since reimposed lockdowns, but the stay-home order for Navotas will be the biggest, according to the report.

The Philippines has the second most Covid-19 cases in South-east Asia, with more than 57,000 infections and 1,599 deaths. Indonesia tops the region, with more than 75,000 cases.

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