Manila, Aug 4 | Millions of people in the Philippines returned to a COVID-19 lockdown on Tuesday, after doctors warned a surge in new coronavirus cases could push the country’s healthcare system to collapse.
Stay-at-home orders are now in place in Manila and the four surrounding provinces of Laguna, Cavite, Rizal and Bulacan on the island of Luzon until August 18, reports the BBC.
The new lockdown came after 80 medical associations on August 1 called on President Rodrigo Duterte to toughen restrictions in a bid to slow the spread of the virus.
On Sunday the Philippines announced a record 5,032 new infections.
In some areas hospitals are reported to have been forced to turn away soaring numbers of patients.
Doctors hope the reinstated restrictions will now give medical workers more time to deal with the spike in cases.
According to the new restrictions, public transport will be shut down and police checkpoints will be set up to limit the movement of people.
Only residents with government-issued passes will be allowed to leave home for essential errands such as shopping for basic commodities.
In mid-March, the Philippines imposed one of the strictest lockdowns which ended in June.
As of Tuesday, the total number of coronavirus cases in the Philippines stood at 106,330, with 2,104 deaths.