Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said the lockdown that has restricted millions to their houses will likely be eased, but he warned that individuals who want to go back to work must follow safeguards to avoid more deaths and a tide 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 nation’s most populous region and which includes the capital, Manila.
Mr. Duterte made the statement in videotaped comments shown on nationwide TV on Tuesday.
He explained his spokesman will disclose which regions will remain under lockdown and which areas would be released dependent on rate and the scale of infections. The two-month lockdown was supposed to continue until May 15.
The Philippines has reported over 11,000 infections, including 726 deaths.