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Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte is enforcing partial coronavirus restrictions in the capital, Manila, for another two weeks, and warned that stricter curbs would be reinstated if the rise in new cases and deaths does not slow down, Reuters reports.

The Philippines this week recorded Southeast Asia’s biggest daily jump in coronavirus deaths and saw hospital occupancy grow sharply, after a tripling of infections since a tough lockdown was eased on 1 June to allow more movement and commerce.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said today.

It was clear during our discussion that if the spread of the virus in Manila will not slow, it is possible that stricter quarantine measures would be reimposed after two weeks.

Confirmed cases in the capital region have more than doubled to 29,015 since June.

Schools are to remain closed, operations of shopping malls and dine-in eateries limited, mass gatherings banned, social distancing enforced on public transport, and children and the elderly urged to stay at home.

Under tighter regulations in force from mid-March to the end of May, public transport was barred, working from home instituted where possible, and only one person per household allowed out for essential goods.

Duterte eased lockdown measures in Cebu from tomorrow after the central city recorded a decline in the number of confirmed cases, although it still accounted for 10% of the 58,850 total infections in the country.

Navotas, a city of 250,000 in the National Capital Region surrounding Manila, will return to lockdown from tomorrow after cases tripled since June, its mayor said this week.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque said earlier today the government had “successfully flattened the curve since April” because Covid-19 cases were growing slower, with the rate of doubling of infections now at 8.28 days from 4.8 days in May.

To prevent wider transmission, the government said it would use police to carry out house-to-house searches for patients so they can be isolated and brought to quarantine facilities where they can be properly managed.

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