Philippine casinos will remain closed through April 30 after an extension of the quarantine was ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte.
Lockdown in Philippines to be extended through April 30
Luzon in the Philippines remains on strict lockdown through April 30 due to COVID-19 outbreak in the country. The initial plan was to end the quarantine on April 12 but President Rodrigo Duterte ordered to extend it in order to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Non-essential businesses, including casinos, are impacted by this order.
While the gambling industry continues to suffer due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more than PHP20 billion were donated by the country regulator PAGCOR for the Socio-Civic Projects Fund of the Office of the President and the National Treasury. Besides PAGCOR, over Php 200 million were donated by Entertainment City licenses in order to help the government struggle with the virus.
The outbreak in the country continues to grow
Luzon, besides the largest Philippine island, is also most populated. The island is a home to more than 50% of the country’s population or more than 57 million people. The reported cases of COVID-19 are just above 3,800 of which 182 patients have died and 96 have already recovered.
By extending the quarantine, the Philippine government is trying to reduce the spreading of the virus and increase the number of patients tested. The virus outbreak continues to grow on a worldwide level and so far the US is most affected.
The COVID-19 task force is taking further action
Philippine COVID-19 task force spokesman Karlo Nograles noted that if the quarantine is lifted, a high increase of new cases is to be expected. In his own words:
“The reason why we are asking for an extension up to April 30 is to measure the full effect of the ECQ and to increase the health capacity of Luzon and the whole country“.
Norgales also added that the extra time will help the government increase the turnaround of tests and the testing capacities of the laboratories. The task force is also planning to certify more laboratories nationwide in order to increase the testing capabilities and reduce the testing times. Ultimately this will be combined with immediate isolation of patients that are reported sick in order to stop the spreading of the virus.