COVID-19 cases in Philippines exceed 27,000

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  • The number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines has increased to 27,238.

    This developed after the Department of Health (DOH) reported 457 more infections on Wednesday (June 17).

    On June 15, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said partial restrictions would remain in place in Manila for another two weeks because the threat from the new coronavirus was still present.

    Duterte reinstated strict lockdown rules in Cebu City, the country’s fifth most populous city, following an increase in new infections there.

    “The battle against COVID-19 is not yet over,” Duterte said in an address late on June 15.

    Restrictions were further eased in provinces and cities with low cases of the virus to help restore business activity in the Southeast Asian economy, which is expected to shrink for the first time in more than two decades this year.

    The lockdown in Manila, which was one of the world’s longest and strictest, was relaxed on June 1 to reduce the economic damage of the pandemic.

    The relaxed rules, which allowed the reopening of more industries, some public transportation and movement in and out of Manila, were set to expire on June 15.

    The DOH said in its June 17 bulletin that the number of recoveries further climbed to 6,820 after 268 more patients have survived the disease.

    The death toll also increased to 1,108 after five more patients have succumbed to the viral disease, the DOH added.

    According to the DOH, 173 of the daily reported cases were in Metro Manila, 160 cases in the Central Visayas region in the central Philippines and 124 cases were reported in other parts of the country.

    The reopening of Boracay island world-class resort in Aklan province in the central Philippines was spoiled after authorities confirmed that a female visitor who had stayed on the island tested positive for COVID-19.

    The incident happened while the island resort reopened on June 16  to allow local tourists to visit the island. The move is part of the government’s efforts to restart the local economy after the coronavirus lockdown that started in mid-March.

    The popular Boracay resort, famous for powdery white sand, shallow azure water and spectacular sunsets, is a favorite beach destination of local and international tourists, including Chinese national holidaying in the Philippines.

    The Department of Tourism said the COVID-19 pandemic dealt a serious blow to the industry, slashing foreign arrivals for January to April 2020 to 1,318,719, or a 54.01-percent decrease from the 2,867,551 year-on-year.

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