In the Philippines and President Rodrigo Duterte has reportedly announced the partial easing of a strict set of quarantine measures brought in some two weeks ago in order to help stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to a report from Inside Asian Gaming, metropolitan Manila as well as the central Luzon provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal were placed under ‘enhanced community quarantine’ protocols from March 29 so as to institute an almost complete shutdown on all non-essential activities. The source detailed that this represented the second time these areas had been required to follow such severe restrictions following a ten-week period last spring and necessitated a ban on all mass gatherings including religious events alongside a prohibition on unnecessary travel.
However, a subsequent rise in the number of available hospital beds has now reportedly prompted 76-year-old Duterte to pronounce that these areas are to be obliged to follow less stern ‘modified enhanced community quarantine’ rules until April 30 that will allow government offices and some private businesses to re-open at 50% capacities. This move purportedly came even as that the Philippines recorded 24,335 new cases of coronavirus over the weekend to take its historical tally up to 876,225 for over 15,000 deaths.
Despite this limited reduction in coronavirus-related restrictions and Inside Asian Gaming reported that metropolitan Manila’s four large integrated casino resorts incorporating the Resorts World Manila, Solaire Resort and Casino, City of Dreams Manila and Okada Manila developments are to be prohibited from re-opening even at reduced capacities until at least the end of the month. It explained that Duterte’s move has also not permitted the revival of clubs and bars in the five areas or the re-awakening of local cafes, gyms, tourist attractions, sporting venues and theme parks.
The Asian nation’s Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases reportedly went a step further yesterday in declaring that all gaming establishments in the impacted areas are to remain closed until further notice with the notable exception of ‘draws conducted by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office’, which is a state-owned enterprise that raises money to help fund national health and medical assistance programs.
In its report on the matter and GGRAsia cited Harry Roque, an official spokesperson for Duterte, as asserting that metropolitan Manila and the surrounding four provinces are moreover still under a nighttime curfew for the nine hours from eight eight o’clock every evening. The official purportedly asserted that this particular restriction will not be lifted until local mayors and governors consented to either its modification or complete revocation.