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COVID-19 cases hit 18,638 as Philippines eases virus lockdown
Commuters at the LRT2 Cubao station in Quezon City wear protective gear and are reminded to practice distancing measures on the start of the general community quarantine in Metro Manila on June 1.
The STAR/Miguel de Guzman

COVID-19 cases hit 18,638 as Philippines eases virus lockdown

Gaea Katreena Cabico (Philstar.com) - June 1, 2020 - 5:08pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines said its caseload of novel coronavirus infections reached 18,638 Monday as Metro Manila and other areas at high-risk of virus transmission shifted to a more relaxed community quarantine that allowed more businesses to reopen and workers to return to their jobs.

The Department of Health reported 552 new cases. Of the additional cases, 119 were classified “fresh” or test results that were released to patients in the last three days, while 433 were “late” cases from the agency’s testing backlog.

The total number of patients who have survived COVID-19 increased to 3,979 with the recovery of 70 more patients.

But fatalities related to COVID-19 also rose to 960 after three fatalities were added to the toll.

Metro Manila—home to more than 12 million people and the epicenter of the nation’s outbreak—transitioned to the more relaxed general community quarantine Monday. After nearly three months, workers in the capital region returned to their jobs that were shut by virus lockdown and dealt with limited public transit.

In easing one of the world's longest lockdowns, the DOH said the slower case and mortality doubling time and the critical care utilization rate guided the decision of the government. 

The novel coronavirus pandemic has infected at least 6.1 million people and killed over 367,000 since it first emerged in China in December last year.

NOVEL CORONAVIRUS
As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: February 26, 2021 - 2:05pm

Follow this page for updates on a mysterious pneumonia outbreak that has struck dozens of people in China.

February 26, 2021 - 2:05pm

Japan will end a coronavirus state of emergency early in some regions as the pace of infection slows, reports say, less than five months before the pandemic-postponed Tokyo Olympics.

The emergency measure -- currently in force in 10 regions including Tokyo -- is looser than the strict lockdowns seen elsewhere in the world, and primarily calls for bars and restaurants to close from 8pm.

It is due to end on March 7, but the government will lift the measure this Sunday, just over a week early, in around six prefectures, the reports say. — AFP

February 26, 2021 - 8:45am

Brazil's death toll from Covid-19 surpasses a quarter-million Thursday, a year after the first case was confirmed in the country, which is struggling with vaccine shortages and a devastating second wave.

The new coronavirus has now killed 251,498 people in Brazil, according to health ministry figures — the second-highest toll worldwide, after the United States, where the number passed half a million Monday.

This has been the deadliest week yet of the pandemic in Brazil, with a daily average of 1,149 deaths over the past seven days, according to the ministry's figures. —  AFP

February 24, 2021 - 1:05pm

Fashionistas will have to log on to soak up the glamour at Milan Fashion Week, which remains online a year after the coronavirus first swept into northern Italy. 

No sharply dressed crowds will attend the extravaganza's opening on Wednesday: it's virtual catwalk shows only, with the likes of Armani and Prada presenting new women's collections for autumn and winter 2021-22. — AFP

February 23, 2021 - 11:31am

Movie theaters in New York City will partially reopen next month, Governor Andrew Cuomo announces, the latest easing of coronavirus restrictions in the Big Apple.

Cuomo says cinemas will be able to operate at 25% capacity, or up to 50 people per screen, from March 5 -- almost exactly a year since they shut. — AFP

February 21, 2021 - 5:39pm

The head of the World Health Organization on Sunday appeals to Tanzania to take "robust action" to combat COVID-19 in the country, where the president has long played down the virus.

President John Magufuli has claimed coronavirus has been has fended off by prayer in Tanzania, and refused to take measures to curb its spread. 

But a recent spate of deaths attributed to pneumonia has struck both members of the public and government officials.

And Magufuli on Friday appeared to admit the coronavirus was circulating in his country after months of denial.

WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said a number of Tanzanians traveling to neighboring countries and beyond have tested positive for the coronavirus.

"This underscores the need for Tanzania to take robust action both to safeguard their own people and protect populations in these countries and beyond," he said in a statement.

Tedros said he had urged Tanzania in late January to take measures against the pandemic and to prepare for vaccinations.

"Since then I have spoken with several authorities in Tanzania but WHO is yet to receive any information regarding what measures Tanzania is taking to respond to the pandemic. — AFP

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