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Manila remains under lockdown until mid-July

By Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza and Vann Marlo M. Villegas, Reporters

MANILA, the capital and nearby cities and provinces will remain under a general lockdown with fewer restrictions until July 15, according to the presidential palace, as it extended the travel ban on India and its neighbors until mid-July.

Also covered by the travel ban are Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Oman and the United Arab Emirates, presidential spokesman Herminio L. Roque, Jr. told a televised news briefing on Tuesday.

Coronavirus infections in the National Capital Region were decreasing, Health Undersecretary Leopoldo J. Vega told the same briefing. The Bicol region, Western Visayas, Caraga, Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao and Davao region were experiencing surge, he added.

Aside from Metro Manila, the provinces of Bulacan and Rizal were also placed under a general community quarantine with some restrictions. Laguna and Cavite will remain under a general lockdown with tightened restrictions.

Fitness studios were allowed to operate at 40% of their capacity in areas under a general lockdown with some restrictions, Mr. Roque said. Indoor dining was also allowed at 40% capacity, while outdoor dining was allowed at 50% capacity.

The provinces of Ifugao, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino and the cities of Baguio and Santiago in northern Philippines were placed under a general lockdown.

Also under a general quarantine are the provinces of Batangas and Quezon and several areas in central Philippines such as Guimaras, Aklan, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, Antique and Capiz, Mr. Roque said.

General Santos City, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, Cotabato, South Cotabato, Cotabato City, Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga City, Agusan del Norte, Surigao del Norte and Agusan del Sur in southern Philippines would also be under a general quarantine.

Cagayan, Apayao, Bataan, Lucena City, Puerto Princesa and Naga City were placed under a modified enhanced community quarantine, Mr. Roque said. Twelve areas in coronavirus-hit Mindanao were also put under same lockdown level.

The rest of the country were placed under a modified general lockdown.

About 45% of intensive care unit (ICU) beds in the capital region had been used as of June 27. About 39% of isolation beds and about 23% of ward beds in the region were occupied.

About 57% of ICU beds in the country have been used, while about 47% of isolation beds and 44% of ward beds were occupied.

The Department of Health (DoH) reported 4,479 coronavirus infections on Tuesday, bringing the total to 1.4 million.  The death toll rose by 101 to 24,557, while recoveries increase by 6,471 to 1.3 million, it said in a bulletin.

There were 50,037 active cases, 1.5% of which were critical, 90.4% were mild, 4.4% did not show symptoms, 2.1% were severe and 1.54% were moderate.

The agency said nine duplicates had been removed from the tally, seven of which were tagged as recoveries.

Twenty-eight recoveries were reclassified as active cases, while 75 cases tagged as recoveries were reclassified as deaths. Fourteen laboratories failed to submit data on June 27, the agency said.

About 13.9 million Filipinos have been tested for the coronavirus as of June 27, according to DoH’s tracker website.

The coronavirus has sickened about 182.2 million and killed 3.9 million people worldwide, according to the Worldometers website, citing various sources including data from the World Health Organization.

About 166.8 million people have recovered, it said.

Meanwhile, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario S. Vergeire reminded the public to remain vigilant and not to be complacent in following the health protocols.

The situation in Metro Manila “is still very fragile,” she told a separate online news briefing. The daily infection average in the capital region was 666, still higher than the pre-surge level in January and February of about 300 cases, she pointed out.

The agency last week flagged increasing coronavirus infections in four regions in the Visayas and Mindanao.

The regions of Western Visayas, Caraga, Davao and Soccsksargen were at high risk, Health Director Alethea de Guzman told an onlne news briefing. Metro Manila and nearby provinces were now at low risk, she added.

Meanwhile, state insurer Philippine Health Insurance Corp. on said it would provide a compensation package to people who may get sick from vaccination.

Shirley B. Domingo, PhilHealth spokesperson and vice president for corporate affairs, said the benefits would cover hospitalization, permanent disability or death.

Under a PhilHealth circular, patients who get hospitalized are eligible to as much as P100,000 in benefits.

People who became permanently disabled or die will get a lump sum of P100,000. In case of death or permanent injury, their beneficiaries can claim the benefits on their behalf.

Ms. Vergeire said there had been no deaths due to coronavirus vaccines. No person who had been fully vaccinated has died of the coronavirus, she added.

About 10 million vaccine doses had been given out as of June 27, according to the Health department, more than 2.5 million of which were second doses.

The government targets to inoculate at least 500,000 people daily in Metro Manila, Rizal, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Metro Cebu and Metro Davao to reach herd immunity by Nov. 27.

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