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Philippines reopens capital Manila despite jump in virus cases

Philippines reopens capital Manila despite jump in virus cases

Manila emerged on Monday from one of the world’s longest coronavirus lockdowns even as the number of new infections surges. Streets in the capital were choked with traffic and limited public transport resumed in the city of 12 million after nearly three months of strict home quarantine, AFP reported.

Most businesses have been allowed to reopen in the city as the Philippines seeks to repair its badly damaged economy. However, schools, bars, and dine-in restaurants all remain shuttered.

The Philippines has so far reported 18,638 cases and 960 deaths, and there has been a roughly 30 percent jump in new cases in the past week. Health officials said it was mainly due to efforts to clear backlogs from laboratories as they boost testing.