President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Monday night said the Philippine capital and nearby provinces would greet the New Year under a general lockdown — the 10th straight month of quarantine — amid a coronavirus pandemic.
Aside from the capital region, Isabela, Santiago City, Batangas, Iloilo (City), Tacloban, Lanao del Sur, Iligan (City) , Davao City and Davao del Norte would remain under a general community quarantine, he said in a televised speech.
The rest of the country would be under a more relaxed modified quarantine, he added. Local government units may still appeal the lockdown levels for January.
Mr. Duterte locked down the entire Luzon island in mid-March, suspending work, classes and public transportation to contain a pandemic that has sickened more than 470,000 and killed more than 9,000 people in the Philippines.
People should stay home except to buy food and other basic goods, he said. The lockdown in most areas has since been eased, with more sectors of the economy allowed to reopen.
The Health department this month warned of a fresh surge in COVID-19 infections during the holidays as people violate quarantine rules and health standards.
Health experts in November urged the public to hold activities outdoors and limit interactions during the holidays. Celebrations should also be limited within the household. — Gillian M. Cortez