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Coronavirus

Lockdown Extended for Metro Manila, Surroundings

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government extended a lockdown by another week Monday after an alarming spike in coronavirus infections continued to surge and started to overwhelm many hospitals in the capital and outlying regions.

President Rodrigo Duterte placed Metropolitan Manila and four outlying provinces, a region of more than 25 million people, back under lockdown last week as daily infections breached the 10,000-mark. Leaders of the dominant Roman Catholic church shifted its Holy Week and Easter events online after all public gatherings, including in places of worship, were temporarily banned.

The government-run Lung Center of the Philippines became the latest hospital in the capital region to announce over the weekend that it can no longer accept walk-in patients after its COVID-19 ward reached full capacity while its emergency room was now handling twice its capacity.

Other hospitals said they could take steps to expand bed capacity but there was inadequate number of medical workers partly because many had also been infected.

The Philippines has reported more than 795,000 COVID-19 cases with 13,425 deaths, the highest totals in Southeast Asia after Indonesia.

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