Roman Catholic faithful queue up as they wait for lay ministers to sprinkle ash on their heads during Ash Wednesday mass at a church in Manila on Feb. 17, 2021, marking the start of Lenten season in Catholic church calendar. (AFP/Jam Sta. Rosa)
MANILA, Philippines — Metro Manila will be spending another month under general community quarantine along with nine other areas, Malacañang announced Saturday.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque announced that the government is keeping Metro Manila, Apayao, Baguio City, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Batangas, Tacloban City, Iligan City, Davao City and Lanao del Sur under GCQ for the whole month of March.
Experts and the World Health Organization have warned that the Philippines may see a surge in cases should there be a further relaxation of restrictions.
The Philippines has been recording on average around 1,6000 new COVID-19 cases per day since November and faces the threat of new, more infectious variants of the coronavirus.
Health officials have also confirmed the detection of two mutations of the virus that causes COVID-19, but their public health implications are still unknown.
The Philippines has the second-worst outbreak of COVID-10 in Southeast Asia, with over 570,000 cases and over 12,000 deaths. – Xave Gregorio
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