The latest news is the Extreme Quarantine Measures in the Philippines are to be extended until the end of May.
According to The Star citizens of Metro Manila at least, and perhaps the whole of Luzon may have to put with the extreme quarantine measures (EQM) until now at least the end of May.
The original EQM was due to end on April 30th, but Luzon and Metro Manila, in particular, have continued to see rises in cases of coronavirus or COVID-19 as it is also is known. Although it should be noted that the Philippines has seen nothing of the numbers now affecting continental Europe, the UK, and the USA.
The EQM, one of the most extreme in the world, and certainly in south-east Asia has led to severe financial hardship for much of the already impoverished country, not to mention food shortages, and difficulty in even getting hold of simple medicine.
President Duterte will decide this week whether to do a blanket extension for the whole of Luzon, restrict in to Metro Manila, or enact “selective quarantining”, whereby regions with a serious COVID 19 problem will be allowed to start slowly getting back to business, whilst areas with high rates of coronaviruss infections having to remain under stricter lockdowns.
Certain areas of the country such as Cebu have already confirmed further extensions to the lockdown.
Where this will see natives and expats alike in Angeles City, and Pampanga has not been confirmed by any spokesman yet, whether the EQM is restricted to just Metro manila is still open to debate.
Even if Angeles City remains exempt from the full lockdown, “slowly opening to business” will be unlikely to include non-essential companies, such as the now empty bars of Walking Street.
Whatever happens this week, and y semblance normality should not be expended in the very near future.