All gyms, spas, and internet cafes in Metro Manila will be ordered closed from today until Easter Sunday (April 4), Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque announced this morning.
Metro Manila mayors ordered the temporary closure despite the Department of Trade and Industry’s directive allowing these establishments to operate at a reduced capacity. Metropolitan Manila Development Authority General Manager Jojo Garcia told Rappler that the closure was done upon the advice of medical professionals.
Several private hospitals in Metro Manila are no longer accepting COVID patients, while the government’s isolation facilities are 78% occupied. Experts believe that the country will record 11,000 cases each day if preventive measures are not put in place.
Before this announcement, Quezon City had ordered the closure of gyms from March 15 to 31. The new mandate will extend the businesses’ closure for several more days.
The National Capital Region, Rizal, Bulacan, Cavite, and Laguna, collectively dubbed by the government as NCR Plus, are under the general community quarantine until April 4. Residents of these areas can travel within the “bubble,” but not outside of it. Those living outside of NCR Plus cannot enter the area unless they are going there for work. Roque insisted that the quarantine is not a lockdown because most businesses remain open.
Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua of the National Economic and Development Authority said that 3.2 million residents of Metro Manila have gone hungry due to the COVID lockdowns, which started in March last year.
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