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UK think tank: New coronavirus infections rising in PH after lockdown eased

By: - Reporter / @bendeveraINQ
/ 08:03 PM June 05, 2020

Economic recovery in the Philippines and three other countries in Asia is seen to lag behind their neighbors as they continue to struggle to contain the spread of SARS Cov2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, according to UK-based Oxford Economics.

In a report with a long title, Oxford Economics said China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, Australia and Thailand “are broadly moving in the right direction” toward economic recovery “with COVID-19 basically contained, governments generally easing restrictions and workplace mobility rising.”

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The report, dated June 5, was authored by Louis Kujis, Oxford Economics head of Asia economics, and economist Lloyd Chan.

It cited Malaysia as showing “signs of positive dynamics in May with containment of COVID-19 leading to easing of restrictions and increased the country.” Malaysia, however, “had a modest setback at the end of Ramadan,” the report said.

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On the flip side, “the situation is more precarious in other countries in the region,” the report said.

It cited the case of the Philippines which, after reporting low numbers of daily cases for some time, “has been struggling with sharply rising caseloads since late May.”

“In Singapore and Indonesia, the coronavirus outbreak has not yet been contained while it continues to escalate in India,” Oxford Economics added.

“In northeast Asia, daily cases have been below 50 in recent weeks,” it said.

“At the other end of the spectrum, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines still have a few hundred cases per day while India stands out with now close to 10,000 new cases per day,” Oxford Economics noted.

This makes “the path to sustainable economic recovery” more difficult and “exposed to risks in these four countries.”

“With COVID-19 not yet under control, many government restrictions remain in place in Singapore, Indonesia, India and the Philippines,” Oxford Economics said.

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While the Philippine government already eased the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) imposed since mid-March to a less restrictive general community quarantine (GCQ) this month, opening up the economy had been gradual to avoid the spread of infection.

“Ever since early April, the Philippines seemed to be able to contain the number of new cases to a relatively modest 200-300 per day, largely by means of a strict lockdown on Luzon island,” Oxford Economics said.

“But new daily infections have been rising strongly since the end of May,” it said.

“This seems to have been in part because quarantine measures have been eased in several areas,” Oxford Economics said.

Metro Manila restrictions had been eased starting June 1.

“The government has also ramped up both its testing capacity and the actual number of tests carried out,” according to Oxford Economics.

Edited by TSB

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