1st LD Writethru: Philippine capital, adjacent areas back to stricter restrictions amid surge of COVID-19 cases

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MANILA, March 27 (Xinhua) — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has agreed to place Metropolitan Manila and outlying provinces back under the stricter enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) amid the spike in the number of new COVID-19 infections.

In a live briefing on Saturday, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the capital city of Manila and neighboring Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal will be placed under ECQ starting March 29 until April 4.

The announcement came after the Philippines’ coronavirus cases surge to new daily records above 9,000. The Southeast Asian country reported the highest daily tally of new cases on Friday with 9,838.

Metro Manila, located on the main Luzon island and with a population of about 13 million, consistently records the highest COVID-19 cases since the virus emerged in the country in January last year.

The Philippines has been in varying quarantine levels over the past year since the government imposed a lockdown in mid-March last year.

The Philippine economy shrank 9.5 percent in 2020 due to the prolonged impact of the global pandemic. Enditem

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