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Now Reading: LOCKDOWN | Duterte set to announce quarantine status as virus cases rise to 37,514
LOCKDOWN | Duterte set to announce quarantine status as virus cases rise to 37,514
June 30, 2020 , 05:42 PM

(June 30, 2020) – President Rodrigo Duterte will address the nation again on Tuesday announcing the possible extension or further easing of curbs to control the spread of the lethal coronavirus.

Duterte’s much awaited public address to be shown on national television will be preceded by his key Cabinet meeting to put forward a set of measures to halt transmission of the virus.

As the inter-agency task force on the pandemic deliberates on the status of quarantine protocols, the number of infections grew to 1,080 cases on the last day of June.

Top government spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said the Philippine leader will make an announcement on the quarantine status beginning July 1.

The Philippines emerged from the hard lockdown that took on months beginning this month, with many slowly returning to work and restrictions relaxed.

Such a move, however, had seen infections surging from 18,000 to 37,514 by the end of the month.

Health officials said most of the new infections are fresh cases at 858, while late cases are at 222.

The Central Visayas region, where Duterte had sent his environment secretary Roy Cimatu in Cebu City to oversee their virus response, accounted for 430 of the fresh cases.

In an earlier press briefing, Cimatu, an ex-armed forces general, said an enhanced community quarantine is being eyed in various villages in Cebu City that had seen a spike in cases.

The health department reported 11 more deaths from the respiratory disease, bringing the country’s fatalities to 1,266.

Some 277 have recovered, bringing the number of patients who got well to 10, 233.

On social media, Duterte’s spokesman was jeered for his remarks congratulating the country for beating a projection by University of the Philippines experts of about 40,000 cases by end-June.

“We beat the UP prediction,” he said. “We beat it, so congratulations Philippines. Let’s do it again in July.”

Opposition lawmaker Risa Hontiveros also wrote on Twitter: “Hala, COVID-19 ang kalaban, hindi UP.”

Roque’s remarks, however, had left out the 8,000 more cases that would still need to be validated by health officials, which suggests that the country’s total may indeed have reached beyond 40,000.

The month of June also saw virus cases emerging in other provinces, particularly in Eastern Visayas, after the government sent home individuals stranded in the capital region.

It had led lawmakers to call for a review of the Hatid Probinsya program’s implementation. Another government program, Balik Probinsya, a brainchild of Duterte’s close ally Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, had also been put on hold. (Christian de Lano Deiparine/MM)

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