Manila eases lockdown

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Workers from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority install traffic cones as they prepare for the rush of commuters due to the easing of the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions in Manila, the Philippines on 31 May, 2020

Traffic jams and crowds of commuters returned to the Philippine capital on Monday, as the metropolis relaxed antivirus measures in a high-stakes gamble to slowly reopen the economy while fighting the coronavirus outbreak, AP reports.

Commuter trains, taxis, ride-sharing cars, special shuttle buses and motorcycles rumbled back on the road in metropolitan Manila but were only allowed to carry a fraction of their capacity as a safeguard.

Public transport was still limited by the relaxed rules and many commuters waited for hours to get a ride despite the government’s deployment of buses.

Classes remain suspended for the next two weeks. Barber shops and beauty salons can open next week at a third of their capacity.

The Philippines remains a Southeast Asian hot spot for Covid-19, with more than 18,000 infections and 957 deaths.