Manila to revert to strictest lockdown next week

The Philippiness’ capital city of Manila will revert to the strictest lockdown from August 6 to 20 amid a resurgence of Covid-19 cases, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said on Friday.

Roque said Metro Manila will remain under “heightened restrictions” from Friday until the hard lockdown is imposed next week, reports Xinhua news agency.

“The heightened restrictions for Metro Manila are more stringent compared to the general community quarantine with heightened restrictions of other areas,” he said in a statement.

Roque said that public transportation will remain operational.

“Only authorised persons outside their residences shall be allowed to travel into and out of Metro Manila and its adjacent provinces, including Cavite, Bulacan, Laguna, and Rizal,” the spokesperson added.

The new restrictions ban indoor and al-fresco dine-in restaurants, allowing only take-out and delivery.

The Covid-19 cases in Metro Manila spiked in recent weeks, Department of Health (DOH) data showed.

At least 11 areas in the capital “all have positive two-week growth rate”.

Health authorities said the more virulent Delta variant might have driven the spike of cases.

The DOH has detected 216 Delta variant cases so far, with eight deaths.

Metro Manila, home to over 13 million people, has consistently recorded the highest Covid-19 cases since the disease emerged in the country in January last year.

The Philippines has been in varying quarantine levels after the government imposed a lockdown in March last year.