Philippines prolongs blockade as infections surge

Manila, Philippines (AP) —The Philippine government extended the blockade for another week on Monday after a startling surge in coronavirus infections continued to overwhelm many hospitals in the capital and surrounding areas.

Last week, President Rodrigo Duterte blocked Metro Manila and four suburban states, a region of more than 25 million people, after reaching 10,000 daily infections. Roman Catholic leaders moved Holy Week and Easter events online after a temporary ban on all public meetings, including places of worship.

The Philippine government-run lung center has announced that it will no longer be able to accept walk-in patients on weekends after the COVID-19 ward has become full and the emergency room has doubled its capacity. It became the latest hospital in the Philippines. ..

“We are not full. We are very full. In fact, the hospital has been full for the past two weeks,” said Dr. Norbert Francisco, a spokesman for the Lang Center.

Other hospitals said they could increase the number of beds, but many were infected and there was a shortage of sufficient health care workers.

While the Duterte administration is increasingly faced with criticisms of mishandling pandemics, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the epidemic of the more infectious coronavirus variant was a surprise.

“No one could have predicted how infectious these new variants would be. As a result, there are these spikes in numbers,” Roque told ABS CBN News, officials telling hospitals in the capital. He added that he would open a 110-bed intensive care unit. I was planning to move to the area on Monday and launch a mobile COVID-19 intensive care center.

The Philippines has reported more than 795,000 COVID-19 cases, with 13,425 deaths, the highest in Southeast Asia after Indonesia.

Other parts of the Asia Pacific region:

— A city-wide test in a Chinese border city near Myanmar found 20 more cases of coronavirus infection, the National Health Commission reported on Monday, with more than 100 outbreaks. In countries where local infections have been largely eliminated, there is some anomalous outbreak. Five newly reported cases were asymptomatic, with 51 cases of COVID-19 and 56 cases of asymptomatic infections throughout the city. These categories are counted separately in China, which treats COVID-19 patients in hospitals and isolates asymptomatic infected individuals. Some of the infected are Myanmar citizens, and authorities are providing free vaccinations to foreigners living and working in the city while strengthening border security. China has made a slow start by vaccination of a population of 1.4 billion, despite having four approved vaccines, but is now nationwide to build herd immunity. We are developing a vaccination drive.

— India recorded more than 100,000 new coronavirus cases for the first time on Monday since the pandemic began. According to the Ministry of Health, 103,558 infections have been reported in the last 24 hours, surpassing the record high of 97,894 in late September, bringing the total for India to 12.5 million. Over the last 24 hours, deaths have increased by 478 and deaths have increased to 165,101. New infections in India are now reported earlier than anywhere else in the world. The biggest cause of the new surge is the western part of Maharashtra, home of Mumbai’s commercial capital. The state has announced strict COVID-19 restrictions, including a curfew and a weekend blockade. The government has been boosting vaccination momentum over the past few weeks and is currently administering over 3 million jabs daily. However, Shot took time to reach nearly 1.4 billion people in India.

— Semi-emergency coronavirus control begins on Monday in Osaka and two other prefectures as it seeks to minimize the economic impact on certain areas where the infection has recovered within four months of the Tokyo Olympics. it was done. Experts have expressed concern about the surge in Osaka, often associated with new variants. Osaka reported 593 new cases on Sunday, more than 355 in Tokyo. We asked restaurants and bars in six cities in Osaka, Nishinomiya, Hyogo prefecture, Amagasaki, Ashiya, Kobe, and Sendai in northern Japan for effective measures until May 5. , Close by 8 pm to ensure proper ventilation. Residents of designated cities are required to take safety precautions and avoid karaoke and unnecessary outings.

— Sri Lankan health officials began inoculating thousands of Chinese in Sri Lanka on Monday using the Sinopharm vaccine donated by China. Sri Lanka received 600,000 donations last week, but will not administer it to Sri Lanka until permission from the World Health Organization. More than 4,000 Chinese are working on various projects in Sri Lanka, officials said. Sri Lanka has been vaccinated with the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine since January to more than 903,000 people. We also plan to purchase the Russian Sputnik V vaccine 7 million times.

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