President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered Metro Manila and four nearby provinces to remain under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) by at least another week to contain the surge of COVID-19 infections.
The strictest lockdown measure was set to end on April 4. Restrictions include a ban on non-essential movement and mass gatherings as well as an extended curfew hours.
A government official said the coronavirus curbs could be downgraded to a modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) if there are improvements.
But an expert said that if the infection rate does not dramatically drop this week, the government should consider another week of ECQ.
Around 739,000 Filipinos have been vaccinated against the coronavirus, representing just 1% of the government's target of inoculating 70 million people of its 108 million population.
The government also previously said that it aims to finish vaccinating 1.7 million health care workers by mid-April.
The Philippines has reported more than 812,000 COVID-19 cases with 13,817 deaths.
The extended COVID-19 curbs will hurt the Philippine economy, which slumped to a record 9.5% last year.
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