World

Duterte extends Cebu City lockdown while Manila eases curbs

MANILA: Cebu City will be on lockdown for two more weeks, said Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte.

"Cebu is now the hot spot. Why? Because you refuse to follow," Mr Duterte said on Tuesday. He chafed at what he saw as the stubbornness of those in Cebu.

"You do not follow the rules. If you are really sick in the mind, think of your fellow man. All I am asking is you keep yourself alive and not to spread the infection," he added.

Cebu, which has been on hard lockdown since last Wednesday, reported 191 new cases on Monday, taking the total number of cases in the city to 5,141. At least 169 have died.

Curbs around Metro Manila, meanwhile, will be further relaxed to restore jobs and restart the capital's economy.

"What was approved in principle is that it is important to open the economy so we can start recovering from the lockdown. It is really important to reopen our economy," Mr Duterte's spokesman Harry Roque told reporters.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said restrictions in Manila, which accounts for 40 per cent of the country's gross domestic product, should be loosened further "as quickly as possible" so that more businesses will start humming again and more people can go back to work.

Overall, the Philippines yesterday reported 999 more cases and four additional deaths.

This bring the total confirmed cases to 38,511 while deaths have increased to 1,270.

Meanwhile, Indonesia yesterday reported 1,385 coronavirus cases and 58 deaths, taking its total to 57,770 infections and 2,934 deaths respectively.

Malaysia recorded only one new case yesterday.

Health director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah said the sole case is an imported case, which means there were no local transmissions on the day. The death toll remains at 121.

Thailand yesterday confirmed two new virus cases, both of which were imported from abroad, marking 37 successive days without domestic transmission.

The coronavirus has infected 3,173 people in Thailand, of which 3,059 patients have recovered. There have been 58 deaths so far.

- THE STRAITS TIMES, REUTERS

WORLD