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5.4-magnitude earthquake hits Philippine main Luzon island

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An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.4 shook Philippines’ main island of Luzon on Saturday, the Philippine Institute of Seismology and Volcanology (Phivolcs) said.

The institute said the quake, which struck at 10:10 a.m. local time, hit about 16 km southwest of San Luis town in Aurora Province at a depth of 7 km.

Phivolcs initially reported that the earthquake was magnitude 5.1, but later upgraded it to magnitude 5.4 in an updated bulletin.

The institute said the tremor was also felt in Baler town and other in the provinces of Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, Pangasinan and even in some cities in capital Manila.

The Philippines has frequent seismic activity due to its location along the “Pacific Ring of Fire.”

(XINHUA)

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Thousands return to work as Philippines eases 76-day lockdown

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Thousands returned to work in the Philippines on Monday as the country emerged from one of the longest virus lockdowns in the world.

Buses, commuter trains, taxis and modernised jeepneys or mini-buses resumed operations in Manila after 76 days of suspension, but only allowed to take in a reduced number of passengers to ensure physical distancing.

“Many people are now allowed to go out and many industries are reopening so you’ll see a lot of vehicles, but the situation remains abnormal,’’ Guillermo Eleazar, national deputy police chief for operations, said.

Bank teller Gabbie Vilda said that half of her company’s employees are able to work from their homes, but for those who are required to go to the office, like her, they were given face masks, alcohol and hazard pay.

In spite of the precautions, she is worried about people who do not strictly follow health protocols and expose others to risk.

“I feel anxious going to work.

“No matter how much you take care of yourself, if there are people who lack discipline or can’t follow protocols, people will get infected,’’ she told ABS-CBN News.

The country’s department of health said that there are 18,086 confirmed Covid-19 cases in the Philippines, including 957 deaths as of Sunday.

Over 60 per cent of the infections and almost 75 per cent of deaths were in Metro Manila.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque cautioned the public against being complacent; stressing that Covid-19 was still a threat even as the country began to shift to less stringent “general’’ community quarantine.


Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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Philippine Stock Exchange to reopen trading floor on June 1

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The Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) will reopen its trading floor on Monday following the easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions in the capital Manila.

The PSE trading floor has been closed since March 19 after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte placed Metro Manila under lockdown to halt the spread of COVID-19.

“While our floorless or offsite trading from March 19 to May 29 has proven to be efficient and seamless, we decided to reopen and resume trading on the floor to convey a strong message to the investing public that things are back to ‘normal’ in the capital markets,” PSE President and CEO Ramon Monzon said in a statement Sunday.

“Hopefully, the optics of the reopening will contribute to the restoration of the general public’s much-needed confidence in the recovery of our economy,” he added.

Monzon said health and safety guidelines will be strictly enforced on the trading floor to ensure social distancing.

He said that temperature checks will be enforced on the traders prior to entry in the floor and midway through the trading session. They will also be required to submit daily health declarations prior to entry.

To comply with physical distancing requirements, Monzon said only one trader per booth will be allowed compared to two or three traders per booth before.

He added that all persons inside the trading floor will be required to wear masks at all times and no congregation in any area within the floor will be allowed.

PSE will also provide hand sanitizers at strategic areas on the floor and will diligently perform the disinfecting protocols, he added.

“The above measures may be inconvenient and troublesome but we trust the traders will understand and appreciate that all these are being done to safeguard their health and well-being,” Monzon said.

He said that the PSE will continue to observe shortened trading hours from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. until further notice.

“Trading hours may remain abbreviated but the PSE will do what it can as a stock market operator to support initiatives towards the country’s economic recovery,” Monzon added.

The Philippines now has 18,086 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 957 deaths and 3,909 recoveries.

(XINHUA)

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COVID-19 cases in Philippines surge past 18,000 with 862 newly reported cases

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The number of the COVID-19 cases in the Philippines climbed to 18,086 after the Department of Health (DOH) reported 862 more infections on Sunday night.

The DOH said in a daily bulletin that the number of recoveries further climbed to 3,909 after 101 more patients have survived the disease. The death toll also increased to 957 after seven more patients have succumbed to the viral disease.

According to the DOH, 244 of the reported cases were in Metro Manila, 81 cases in the Central Visayas region in the central Philippines and 302 cases were reported in other parts of the country.

The DOH added that 235 overseas Filipinos workers repatriated by the government have also tested positive for the virus.

The government has repatriated more than 25,000 overseas Filipinos workers displaced by the global pandemic.

The Philippines, which has been under quarantine since mid-March, will gradually loosen lockdown restrictions in the capital Manila and some parts of the country on Monday to restart the economy crippled by the pandemic.

“As more sectors and industries begin to operate, let us continue cooperating with authorities in enforcing quarantine protocols,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.

Roque stressed the need to stay at home, to wear face masks when outside and avoid crowd to break the chain of transmission of the deadly virus.

(XINHUA)

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Magnitude-5.4 earthquake rattles southern Philippines

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An offshore earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.4 shook Davao Occidental province in the southern Philippines on Saturday night, the Philippine Institute of Seismology and Volcanology (Phivolcs) said.

The institute said the quake, which struck at 9:06 p.m. local time, hit at a depth of 101 km, about 202 km southeast of Sarangani town.

The institute said the tremor was also felt in the towns of Alabama, Malungon and Kiamba in Sarangani Province and Tupi town in South Cotabato Province.

The institute said the quake, which was tectonic in origin, will trigger aftershocks but will not cause damage.

The Philippines has frequent seismic activity due to its location along the Pacific “Ring of Fire“.

(XINHUA)

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Philippines to resume domestic flights on June 1, int’l flights remain suspended

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The Philippines will resume domestic travels beginning on June 1 as the country starts further loosening coronavirus lockdown in the capital Manila and some parts of the country, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) said on Saturday.

In an advisory, NAIA said that most of the international flights “will not be happening in the immediate future” due to the travel bans imposed around the world in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Air, sea and land travels were restricted in mid-March after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte imposed a lockdown in Metro Manila, which was later expanded to other parts of the country.

On Thursday, Duterte said restrictions in Metro Manila will be further eased from June 1, allowing most businesses and transport to reopen despite a steady rise of coronavirus cases in the country.

The Philippines now has 17,224 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 950 deaths and 3,808 recoveries.

(XINHUA)

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5.5-magnitude quake hits 196 km SE of Sarangani, Philippines — USGS

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An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.5 jolted 196 km SE of Sarangani, Philippines at 13:06:25 GMT on Saturday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The epicenter, with a depth of 41.9 km, was initially determined to be at 4.0456 degrees north latitude and 126.6082 degrees east longitude.

(XINHUA)

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Philippines reports 590 new COVID-19 cases, total exceeds 17,000

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The number of coronavirus cases in the Philippines surged to 17,224 after the Department of Health (DOH) reported 590 more infections on Saturday.

According to the DOH, 380 of the newly reported cases were found in Metro Manila, 18 cases in the Central Visayas region in the central Philippines and 183 cases were reported in other parts of the country. The DOH added that 9 overseas Filipinos workers repatriated by the government are infected with the disease.

The DOH said in a daily bulletin that the number of recoveries further climbed to 3,808 after 88 more patients have survived the disease. The death toll also increased to 950 after eight more patients have succumbed to the viral disease, the DOH added.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the spike of COVID-19 cases over the past few days is due to the DOH‘s more aggressive validation process. She said the rise does not indicate that the COVID-19 situation in the country is getting any worse.

“If we look at the data, the majority of these cases are from days and weeks past. Hence the rise of cases in the past few days does not reflect actual new infections but a speeding up of our validation process,” Vergeire told reporters.

(XINHUA)

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COVID-19 cases in Philippines surpass 16,000 with over 1,000 newly-reported cases

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The number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines on Friday reached 16,634, after the health authorities reported 1,046 more cases in the country.

The Department of Health (DOH) said in a daily bulletin that, of these, 46 are newly validated cases while 1,000 are delayed cases.

According to the DOH, the number of recoveries further climbed to 3,720 after 122 more patients have survived the disease. The death toll also increased to 942 after 21 more patients have succumbed to the viral disease, the DOH added.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday night said that quarantine restrictions will be eased in Metro Manila and several provinces in the country starting from Monday (June 1) amid a steady increase in the number of coronavirus cases in the country.

(XINHUA)

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Sudden downpour hits Manila, the Philippines

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A man takes advantage of the sudden downpour to take a bath in Manila, the Philippines, May 29, 2020. (Xinhua/Rouelle Umali)

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