Philippines to lose $4 billion a week amid lockdown

Village workers keep watch in a community under lockdown due to positive cases of COVID-19 in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines on Aug 6, 2021. PHOTO: EPA

MANILA (BLOOMBERG, REUTERS) - Philippine authorities estimate that economic losses from the current strict lockdown in the Manila capital region and other areas could reach 150 billion pesos (S$4.01 billion) a week, the Philippine Star reported.

The projection is 43 per cent higher than a previous estimate as more areas were placed under lockdown to contain the spread of the more infectious coronavirus Delta variant, the Star said, citing Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Chua.

More than 20,000 people were apprehended for violating quarantine protocols, the paper said separately.

About 9,600 people were arrested in the capital region and at least 10,800 in the neighbouring provinces of Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna and Cavite were caught for violating curfews and other protocols during the lockdown that started on Friday (Aug 6), it said, citing the police.

Thirteen hospitals in the capital region have reached full bed capacity for Covid-19 patients, while 11 others are at more than 85 per cent capacity, the Manila Bulletin reported, citing the health department.

Twenty-four other hospitals are at over 70 per cent capacity, it said.

The Philippines' health ministry recorded on Sunday 9,671 new coronavirus cases and 287 additional deaths, the biggest single-day spike in the country's death toll since April 9.

In a bulletin, the ministry said total confirmed infections in the South-east Asian country had risen to 1.66 million, while the death toll had climbed to 29,122.

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