People wear masks in Manila, the Philippines on July 10 (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)
The Philippines authorities on August 2 said the country will reimpose a stricter COVID-19 lockdown in and around Manila for two weeks from August 4, as it struggles to contain the number of infections that has soared to more than 100,000.
Harry Roque, spokesman of President Rodrigo Duterte, told reporters that the President has approved placing Metro Manila and nearby provinces such as Laguna, Cavite, Rizal and Bulacan under so-called "Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine" (MECQ) until Aug 18.
The lockdown decision came after 80 local groups representing 80,000 doctors and a million nurses called for tighter controls, saying the country is losing the fight against the coronavirus.
According to the nation’s Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Duterte has also approved the proposed 4.5-trillion-peso (roughly 91.65-billion-USD) national budget for 2021 during his special meeting with the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) on July 30.
The budget, which is 9.9 percent higher than this year's budget of 4.1 trillion pesos, aims to sustain the government’s effective response to the pandemic by focusing spending on improving healthcare systems, ensuring food security, increasing investments in public and digital infrastructure, and helping communities cope with and prevail against the hardship.
The Philippines continues to grapple with the rapid increase of coronavirus cases despite its strict lockdown measures imposed in mid-March.VNA