Philippines to extend night curfew in Manila amid COVID-19 surge

MANILA (CNA) – The Philippines will extend a night curfew in the capital, Manila, amid a tightening of curbs in the Southeast Asian country to combat a potential surge in cases of the Delta variant of COVID-19, a government official said yesterday.

Metropolitan Manila, already subject to a six hour curfew from 10pm, will bring forward that curfew by two hours to 8pm, said Chair of the region’s governing body Benjamin Abalos.

“We are only asking for two weeks. This will stop the virus for the meantime. What’s important is our hospitals don’t get full,” Abalos told a briefing.

Authorities have deployed police personnel to quarantine checkpoints in Metropolitan Manila, where inbound and outbound travel will be restricted. The region, home to more than 13 million people, will be placed under strict lockdown from August 6 to 20, Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said on Friday.

COVID-19 cases in the Philippines exceeded 8,000 a day from Friday to Monday. Sunday’s recorded tally of 8,735 infections was the highest since May 28. In the central province of Cebu, the number of cases has overwhelmed healthcare facilities.

Two of Cebu City’s 15 hospitals were at “critical levels”, city councillor David Tumulak said told local media.

A surge in COVID-19 cases driven by the Delta variant has been rattling parts of Asia.