President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines on Sunday ordered Manila and its suburbs to re-enter lockdown for two weeks as the health department reported 5,032 new cases of the coronavirus.
Group gatherings were prohibited, and residents were advised to stay at home. Public transportation was halted, domestic flights and inter-island ferries remained suspended, and the government encouraged biking. Schools will remain shut.
Infections spiked after the government eased lockdown rules and gradually opened up in an effort to jump-start the economy. Hospitals have been overwhelmed and doctors have warned they are reaching a breaking point. In an appeal to the government on Saturday, the Philippine College of Physicians, the country’s main organization of doctors, warned that the health system “has been overwhelmed.”
This came shortly after Manila’s city government ordered the temporary closure of its two hospitals, citing the growing number of health care workers who have been infected. It said that the city’s health care workers are burned out “with the seemingly endless number of patients trooping to our hospitals for emergency care and admission.”
Total cases in the country now stand at 103,185, with 2,059 deaths.
Mr. Duterte told officials to “strictly enforce the quarantine, especially the lockdown.”
“I have heard the call of different groups from the medical community for a two-week enhanced community quarantine in mega Manila,” he said. “I fully understand why your health workers would like to ask for such a timeout period. They have been in the front lines for months and are exhausted.”
In other news from around the world:
Russia plans to launch a nationwide vaccination campaign in October with a coronavirus vaccine that has yet to complete clinical trials, raising international concern about the methods the country is using to compete in the global race to inoculate the public.
Officials in Melbourne, Australia’s second-largest city, announced stricter measures on Sunday in an effort to stem a coronavirus outbreak that is raging despite a lockdown that began four weeks ago. For six weeks, residents of metropolitan Melbourne will be under curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. except for purposes of work or giving and receiving care.
India’s biggest film star, Amitabh Bachchan, was discharged from the hospital on Sunday after recovering from Covid-19, and the country’s powerful home minister, Amit Shah, announced that he had tested positive. Mr. Bachchan, 77, was hospitalized for three weeks.
Kosovo’s prime minister, Avdullah Hoti, said on Sunday that he had contracted Covid-19 and would self-isolate at home for two weeks, Reuters reports. “I have no signs, except a very easy cough,” he wrote on Facebook.
Reporting was contributed by Peter Baker, Benedict Carey, Emily Cochrane, Stacy Cowley, Michael Gold, Jason Gutierrez, Matthew Haag, Maggie Haberman, Javier C. Hernández, Annie Karni, Sarah Kliff, Andrew E. Kramer, Sharon LaFraniere, Dan Levin, Apoorva Mandavilli, Sarah Mervosh, Azi Paybarah, Daniel E. Slotnik, Eileen Sullivan, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Jim Tankersley, Katie Thomas, Noah Weiland and Sameer Yasir.