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Philippines Plans Village Lockdowns in Bid to Contain Virus

Stock MarketsMay 19, 2020 11:18PM ET
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© Bloomberg. MANILA, PHILIPPINES - MARCH 20: Mauro Milan and Fernando Cabrera pose for a portrait as they guard a makeshift barricade blocking the entrance to Barangay 16 to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in their village on March 20, 2020 in Caloocan, Metro Manila, Philippines. In a bid to stop the spread of the new coronavirus, residents of Manila's poorer districts have begun putting up makeshift barricades to halt movement in its tight alleyways and jampacked slums where social distancing is nearly impossible. The Philippine island of Luzon, which includes the sprawling capital Manila, has been on lockdown since Monday as cases of the deadly virus surged. The government has made a mammoth appeal to the island's 55 million residents to quarantine themselves at home, an impossible task for many of its poorer residents who need to leave their houses daily to survive. (Photo by Ezra Acayan/Getty Images)

(Bloomberg) -- The Philippines is considering downsizing lockdowns to villages from regions, as it balances further reopening its economy with stemming the virus outbreak

“We will lock down villages with coronavirus cases so that we can preserve economic activity,” Carlito Galvez, chief implementer of the nation’s policies to stem the outbreak, said in a televised briefing late Tuesday.

Stricter curbs may be brought back should a second wave of infections occur, President Rodrigo Duterte said at the same briefing, as the government prepares for the arrival of more returning overseas workers. Malls and some businesses have been allowed to open in the capital since May 16.

The gradual lifting of restrictions is in line with strategies adopted in other countries as governments remain wary over the risk of a resurgence in infections. In the Philippines, confirmed cases of the virus are at almost 13,000.

Some 42,000 Filipino migrant workers are set to arrive until June, which might overwhelm the nation’s quarantine facilities, Galvez said. More than 27,000 repatriated workers are staying at isolation centers in the capital.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

Philippines Plans Village Lockdowns in Bid to Contain Virus

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