Cinemas in Metro Manila will remain shut as the region battles a spike in COVID-19 infections, MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos said, citing a consensus of the mayors.
Movie houses and arcades were supposed to reopen this weekend after nearly a year of being closed. However, OCTA Research warned that a surge in Metro Manila was in the early stages.
"Metro Manila Mayors will have one policy, one voice as far as Metro Manila is concerned. Movies, arcades, cinemas, will be suspended temporarily because of this upsurge," Abalos was quoted on ABS-CBN News.
On Saturday, the Department of Health reported 3,439 new infections, for a second straight day of daily cases above the 3,000-mark. The last time it crossed that threshold was in October 2020. The seven-day moving average this week is also rising. From Feb. 26 to March 4, OCTA tallied 900 infections in Metro Manila.
Authorities must act swiftly to address the UK and South African variants, which are "game-changing" because they are more contagious and could undermine the vaccine drive, OCTA said.
"The priority now is to contain or mitigate the spread of these more contagious and lethal variants apart from preventing the surge in the region from becoming full-blown," it said.