Philippines eases lockdown curbs despite uncontained outbreak

MANILA – The Philippines is easing sweeping restrictions that have been in place for two weeks in its capital region and four nearby provinces, even though it has yet to bring down the number of Covid-19 infections and hospitals remain overwhelmed.

Metro Manila and the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan and Rizal – home to 25 million, or a quarter of the country’s population – will from Monday (April 12) till the end of the month be under a “modified enhanced community quarantine” from a previous hard lockdown, Mr Harry Roque, President Rodrigo Duterte’s spokesman, said on Sunday.

With the new rules, more people can leave their homes to go to work, buy essentials and dine out.

More retail and services outlets at shopping malls may reopen, and restaurants may again accept diners.

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