Bangkok, Nov 3 (EFE).- A curfew imposed in the Philippine capital and surrounding areas due to the Covid-19 pandemic for almost 20 months will be lifted on Thursday, the Manila authorities announced.
“The lifting of curfew hours in Metro Manila (comprising of 16 cities) will help spread out influx of people coming to and from malls to further reduce the risk of virus’ transmission,” Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman Benhur Abalos said in a statement on Wednesday.
The lifting of the curfew, which is currently in effect between 12-4 am, is part of the new operating hours for the Christmas season that will allow shopping malls to remain open until 11 pm to try to give employees and customers more time to go home.
The Manila authorities declared the first pandemic-driven curfew in the capital region, between 8 pm and 5 am, on Mar. 15, 2020.
Since then, the night curfew timings have been changed according to the evolution of the pandemic but it has never been fully lifted.
The Philippine capital has also endured one of the world’s longest and strictest lockdowns since the first one was imposed in 2020.
Since September, it has opted for more localized restrictions based on infection levels in a bid to reactivate the ailing economy.
The Philippines, which has fully vaccinated 39.2 percent of the population so far, is the second worst affected Southeast Asia country by the pandemic, behind Indonesia, with a total of 2.79 million cases, including 43,276 deaths.
However, infections have declined significantly since mid-September and the country has averaged just over 4,000 daily infections in the last week. EFE