ILOILO City in the central part of the Philippines has been placed under a modified enhanced community quarantine, the second strictest lockdown level, from May 23 to 31 following a surge in coronavirus infections.   

In a resolution signed on Saturday, the national task force handling the coronavirus response said the decision was made upon the recommendation of its screening committee.

Mayor Jerry P. Trenas earlier asked the national government to implement stricter quarantine rules in the Visayan metropolis as surging infections have weakened its healthcare system.

Data from the Health department showed that the city has recorded more than 7,000 coronavirus cases as of May 22. Of the total, 919 were active, 5,913 were recoveries, and 194 were deaths. The city has a population of about 474, 250.

Meanwhile, the task force also extended the modified lockdown enforced in the provinces of Benguet, Apayao and Cagayan in northern Philippines until the end of the month. The lockdown in these areas was set to expire on May 23.

Health authorities last week said nine more people from Cagayan Valley were infected with the coronavirus variant first detected in the United Kingdom. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza