Philippines Keeps Loose Covid Curbs in Capital Next Month

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In this photo provided by the Malacañang Presidential Photographers Division, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaks during a meeting at the Malacañang presidential palace in Manila, Philippines on Monday Oct. 19, 2020. (Robinson Ninal Jr./Malacanang Presidential Photographers Division via AP)
In this photo provided by the Malacañang Presidential Photographers Division, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaks during a meeting at the Malacañang presidential palace in Manila, Philippines on Monday Oct. 19, 2020. (Robinson Ninal Jr./Malacañang Presidential Photographers Division via AP)

By Andreo Calonzo and Ditas Lopez

The Philippines will keep loose movement restrictions in its capital through November after the Southeast Asian nation recorded fewer infections last week.

Metro Manila will stay under general community quarantine, where most businesses are allowed to operate, President Rodrigo Duterte said in a briefing aired Tuesday. The government this month shortened curfew hours in Manila and eased the stay-at-home order to further reopen its economy.

The Philippines has the second-worst outbreak in the region, with over 371,000 cases as of Monday. It reported fewer coronavirus cases last week amid a slowdown in testing as the Red Cross halted most of its Covid-19 operations after the state health insurer failed to pay.

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  • Duterte ordered the Department of Justice to probe corruption allegations in the entire government, stressing that investigation will continue even after the officials involved have resigned

  • The Public Works Department will be the focus of corruption probe, Duterte said even as he added that he has “nothing against” its head Mark Villar. “I will concentrate the last remaining years of my term fighting corruption because it has worsened”

  • The Philippine leader said he prefers to purchase coronavirus vaccines from China via a government-to-government deal

  • He also said he will propose a new department for overseas Filipino workers, and is considering an agency to focus on seafarers

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