Curfew is back.
Metro Manila mayors have approved the imposition of a nighttime curfew to address the recent sudden spike in Covid19 infections among its 20 million residents.
The curfew, which underscores the severity of the situation, will be from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. and will commence on March 15.
Metro Manila Development Authority chief Benhur Abalos said the curfew will be eased when the rate of Covid cases subside.
With the rapidly deteriorating Covid situation, occasioned by the government’s unimpressive vaccine rollout coupled with the arrival of more transmissible and deadlier variants, President Duterte is left holding a hot potato: Whether to reopen the economy as demanded by the business sector to avoid economic collapse or to impose another lockdown.
“I am given a timetable of just a few weeks to reopen the economy. We cannot forever have strict protocols because people are hungry, people have to work to survive (and the government has no more funds to support them),” he was quoted as saying.
“(But) we have yet to fully implement our vaccination program.”
Based on figures released by Malacanang, only 25,538 frontliners have been vaccinated, as of 6 p.m. of March 10, 2021.
Mr. Duterte said that if he were left to choose, he’d rather have millions vaccinated first in major town and cities before lifting quarantine restrictions.