Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said the massive lockdown that has restricted millions to their homes will be eased, but he warned that people who want to return to work must follow safeguards to avoid more deaths and a second wave of COVID-19 outbreaks.
The Philippine economy contracted in the first quarter and the finance secretary reported that up to 1.5 million jobs have been lost during the lockdown on Luzon island, the country’s most populous region and which includes the capital, Manila.
Mr. Duterte made the announcement in videotaped remarks shown on nationwide TV on Tuesday.
He said his spokesman will later disclose which regions will remain under lockdown and which areas would be released from it based on the scale and speed of infections. The two-month lockdown was supposed to last until May 15.
Don’t gamble with COVID, Mr. Duterte said.
The Philippines has reported more than 11,000 infections, including 726 deaths.