Millions of people return to lockdown in Philippines

Residents of Manila can only step out for essentials. Photo by European Photopress Agency

Manila, Philippines — After doctors warned of a surge in new Covid-19 cases, tens of millions of people in the Philippines have returned to lockdown.

For two weeks, Manila and four surrounding provinces on the island of Luzon have currently been given stay-at-home orders.

The country has just emerged from one of the strictest lockdowns in June, however, due to the five-fold rise in confirmed infections, -now surging past 100,000- the hospitals of the country are currently struggling to cope as well.

The return of lockdown means that the reaidents are instructed to stay at home unless it is to buy essential goods or exercising outdoors. Public transport has been suspended and domestic flights have been grounded. Apart from this, restaurants are restricted to takeaways as well.

The new lockdown was announced after 80 medical associations on Saturday called on President Rodrigo Duterte to toughen restrictions in a bid to slow the spread of the virus.

The Philippines has reported a recorded amount of daily infections on Sunday with the record being 5,032 new infections. In some of the areas in Philippines, hospitals are reported to have been forced to turn away soaring numbers of patients.

With the return in lockdown, doctors are hoping that it will give medical workers more time to deal with the spike in cases.