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Younger kids allowed in malls

Minors as young as 10 years may go out to visit malls in areas under a general lockdown starting Feb. 1 to boost consumer spending, according to the government’s task force against the coronavirus.

“Any person below 10 years old, those who are over 65 years of age, those with immunodeficiency, comorbidity, or other health risks, and pregnant women shall be required to remain in their residences at all times,” according to a task force order.

The task force encouraged local governments under a general quarantine to adopt the relaxed rules.

The task force also approved the request of the Professional Regulation Commission to conduct and administer the licensure exams for professionals scheduled for January to March provided it observes strict health protocols. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza

The Department of Health (DoH) reported 2,178 coronavirus infections on Friday, bringing the total to 509,887.

The death toll rose by 20 to 10,136, while recoveries increased by 250 to 467,720, it said in a bulletin.

There were 32, 031 active cases, 83.6% of which were mild, 9.5% did not show symptoms, 4.1% were critical, 2.3% were severe and 0.42% were moderate.

Quezon City reported the highest number of new cases at 148, followed by Bulacan at 88, Cebu City at 80, Davao City at 79 and Mountain Province at 75.

The agency said eight duplicates had been removed from the tally, while five recovered cases were reclassified as deaths. Three laboratories failed to submit their data on Jan. 21.

More than seven million Filipinos have been tested for the coronavirus as of Jan. 20, according to DoH’s tracker website.

The coronavirus has sickened about 98.2 million and killed more than 2.1 million people worldwide, according to the Worldometers website, citing various sources including data from the World Health Organization.

About 70.6 million people have recovered, it said. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza and Vann Marlo M. Villegas

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