Philippines reports 6,352 new COVID-19 cases, Southeast Asia's biggest daily jump

Philippines reports 6,352 new COVID-19 cases, Southeast Asia's biggest daily jump

Philippine capital on stricter lockdown amid coronavirus infections spike
Stranded workers wait for shuttle services on the first day of the government's re-implementation of a stricter lockdown to curb COVID-19 infections in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines, Aug 4, 2020. (Photo: REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez)

MANILA: The Philippines reported 6,352 new COVID-19 infections on Tuesday (Aug 4), marking the biggest daily jump in cases in Southeast Asia. 

Tuesday's figures represent the Philippines' fifth record rise in the past six days and takes the country's tally of cases to 112,593. COVID-19 deaths rose by 11 to 2,115.

The Philippine capital and nearby provinces on Tuesday returned under strict lockdown for two weeks to arrest soaring cases since restrictions were relaxed in June.

The government announced late on Sunday it was placing metro Manila and nearby provinces such as Laguna, Cavite, Rizal and Bulacan under so-called "Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine" until Aug 18.

READ: Philippine economy fears as COVID-19 curbs reintroduced

Philippine police deployed road blocks on Tuesday to enforce a tough new lockdown on about 28 million people in the capital Manila and nearby provinces.

The area accounts for most economic activity in the country and a quarter of the population.

In a new blow for the economy, authorities also suspended public transport, while barbershops and salons have closed, hitting livelihoods.

"There's really nothing we can do but follow the measures given by the government," said Cipriano Quirante, 57, a dispatcher at a taxi firm.

READ: Broke and helpless: Philippines COVID-19 lockdown maroons dozens at airport

Restaurant manager Charlito Imperial said usually there were long lines at his premises but by midday he had had only three take-away customers.

Police ringed urban areas with roadblocks and checkpoints to restrict movement, with only one member of every household allowed to go out to buy food and essentials.

The government's announcement came after 80 local groups representing 80,000 doctors and 1 million nurses called for tighter controls, saying the country was losing the fight against the disease.​​​​​​​

"I have heard you. Don't lose hope. We are aware that you are tired," President Rodrigo Duterte said in a televised speech late on Sunday.

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Source: Agencies/dv