Metro Manila mayors agree to again close down cinemas, arcades
MANILA, Philippines — Metro Manila mayors have agreed to again temporarily close down cinemas and arcades due to the increase of new COVID-19 cases in the capital region.
Metro Manila Development Authority chairman Benhur Abalos confirmed that Metro Manila mayors have come up with this consensus during a meeting on Saturday.
“They have decided to temporarily suspend the operations of cinemas and arcades,” he told INQUIRER.net in a phone interview on Sunday.
According to Abalos, a resolution is now being drafted for the suspension of operations of cinemas and arcades.
Earlier in the day, Marikina City Mayor Marcelino Teodoro also confirmed that Metro Manila mayors have come up with this decision amid the increase of COVID-19 cases in the metropolis.
“The consensus is that we should take precautionary measures including closing cinemas,” he said in a separate phone interview. He added that arcades are also included in the consensus.
The Department of Trade and Industry earlier said that cinemas and other establishments offering creative, arts, and entertainment activities in areas under general community quarantine were allowed to reopen starting March 5.
According to OCTA Research’s monitoring report on Friday, the average number of new COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila from February 26 to March 4 went up to more than 900, 50 percent higher than the preceding week.
The Department of Health (DOH) also said that the region has also recorded the highest number of SARS-CoV-2 variants among all regions in the country, with 29 cases of the United Kingdom variant, and 45 cases of the South African variant. Both variants have demonstrated increased transmissibility of the virus, with the DOH saying that the South African variant also has a potential effect on vaccine efficacy.
Based on the COVID-19 tracker of the health department, Metro Manila has already recorded a total of 241,915 COVID-19 cases, including 16,283 active cases, 220,835 recoveries, and 4,797 deaths as of Saturday. On the same day, 1,464 cases were added to its caseload.
Nationwide, the number of COVID-19 cases is at 591,138 as of Saturday, including 43,323 active cases, 535,350 recoveries, and 12,465 deaths. A total of 3,439 cases were added to the tally on the same day.
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