Manila - Tens of millions of people in and around the Philippine capital will go back to a strict lockdown from Tuesday, threatening incomes and hopes for reviving a once dynamic economy as authorities take drastic measures to halt surging virus cases. Before the coronavirus pandemic, the Philippines was one of Asia's fastest growing economies, but tough restrictions from mid-March to May pushed it to the brink of recession, and hopes for a swifter recovery are looking bleak with the return of measures set to squeeze commerce.
The lockdown in Manila and nearby provinces is being reinstated for an initial two weeks after a prominent medical group warned the healthcare system could collapse from soaring COVID-19 cases that scaled new records on four straight days until Monday: "It's a bitter but necessary pill given the plight of our medical frontliners," said Francis Lim, president of the Management Association of the Philippines. "We hope the government will deep dive into our COVID-19 strategy and find more effective ways to execute it." The Philippines was the biggest laggard in Asian stocks on Monday, declining as much as 3.9%, a more than two-month low on depressed investor sentiment "Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine" is being re-imposed, barring public transport, closing many shops and advocating working from home. Movement will be limited to just one person per household for buying essential goods.
"BACK TO SUFFERING"