Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday approved the extension of strict COVID-19 lockdown in Metro Manila from Tuesday to September 30 to control the spread of the coronavirus disease in the country.
Metro Manila, the hotspot of the COVID-19 outbreak in the Philippines, is the biggest contributor to the confirmed cases in the country, accounting for nearly 57 percent of all cases.
Metro Manila, home to more than 13 million people, will remain under general community quarantine (GCQ) in the next four weeks.
Aside from the capital, the president said Bulacan province, north of Manila, Batangas province, south of Manila, and the cities of Tacloban and Bacolod in the central Philippines will also be under GCQ.
The rest of the country will be under a more relaxed modified GCQ.
"Wear mask and keep distance all the time," Duterte said in a televised briefing late Monday night.
Under GCQ, people are still encouraged to stay at home especially those aged below 20 and over 60, and those with immunodeficiency, co-morbidity, and pregnant women.
Mass gatherings are also not allowed and no face-to-face or in-person classes at all levels will be allowed. A limited transport system is allowed. However, passengers are required to keep a distance and wear masks and face shields.
Groceries, pharmacies, banks and essential establishments are open.
The Philippines now has 220,819 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 157,562 recoveries and 3,558 deaths.