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Philippines plunges into recession, overtakes Indonesia as country with most infections in SEA

06 August 2020

By The SUN

The Philippines now has more coronavirus infections than Indonesia, whose population is twice as big
The Philippine economy fell into recession for the first time in 39 years after shrinking 16.5% year-on-year in the second quarter due to the prolonged and strict coronavirus lockdown.

The April-June contraction was unveiled by the Philippine Statistics Authority today, Aug 6, as the Department of Health reported 3,561 new coronavirus cases, two days after registering the all-time daily high of 6,352  on Tuesday. 

The overall tally of 119,460 has made the Philippines overtake Indonesia as the country with the highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Southeasr Asia.
Of the country’s total cases, 50,473 are active, according to the latest DOH data.

Metro Manila registered the most number of new cases at 2,041, followed by Laguna with 222, Cebu with 221, Cavite with 100, and Rizal with 81.

There were an additional 569 recoveries, bringing the total to 66,837. But the country’s Covid-19 death toll rose to 2,150 after the DOH added 28 new fatalities.

The country’s gross domestic product, the final value of goods and services it produced during the past three months, fell way below the 9% contraction forecast in a Reuters poll, and was far worse than the 0.7% slump in the first quarter.
Seasonally adjusted GDP fell 15.2% in the second quarter from the January-March level.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez and other Malacañang officials acknowledged the adverse economic impact of the lockdowns, but said the government took the difficult move to save lives and protect communities.

“The government did not shirk from the equally important responsibility of providing much-needed relief to the most vulnerable, maintaining fundamental services, and carrying out measures to keep the economy afloat,” Dominguez said.

He said that without continued and increased public-sector spending, especially on infrastructure, public health, and social protection, the economy would have fared much worse.
Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said the economic contraction of was expected by the country’s economic managers.

But he said the lockdown and community quarantine was necessary to prevent the collapse of the healthcare system and assist frontline healthcare workers.

Two doctors at the Philippine General Hospital fell asleep on the lobby floor from sheer exhaustion
The economic hit from the pandemic could worsen with the government reimposing a virtual lockdown in Metro Manila and nearby provinces for two weeks from Tuesday, amid record increases in Covid-19 cases.

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Frontline medical workers had asked for a time-out, saying they were made to bear the brunt of the surge in cases, while the government failed to provide a clear policy direction on how it intends to curb the contagion.

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