The Philippines has called on the public to wear face masks at home, among other precautions, to help stunt a resurgent COVID-19 that is resulting in record case numbers.
On Saturday, the Department of Health reported 7,999 coronavirus infections, an all-time high for daily cases for the second straight day. Metro Manila, home to a tenth of the country's 100 million people is the epicenter of the surge that is threatening to overwhelm hospitals.
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The DOH called on the public to:
- Stay at home and suspend all non-essential travel.
- Wear a mask at all times and in all settings, even at home, when not alone or living with the vulnerable.
- Ensure air circulation by opening windows and using fans
- Consult immediately with Barangay Health Response Teams if experiencing symptoms for management, referral of testing and isolation.
- If experiencing mild symptoms, go to isolation facilities instead of hospitals.
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The surge in infections and the threat of new virus variants has prompted the government to reimplement stricter COVID-19 protocols such as barring the entry of foreign nationals until April.
Metro Manila, where the surge is centered, has implemented a two-week curfew to limit foot traffic outdoors in a bid to curb virus transmission.