The president has extended a ban on youngsters leaving the home that was due to end in February, after the more contagious British strain of Covid-19 was found in the Philippines, including in test results from three children.
“Go back to your homes… and besides they’re good just with the TV. They can glue their attention to the TV the whole day,” Rodrigo Duterte told the nation on Monday.
Duterte’s order overturned last Friday’s assertion by the country’s coronavirus task force that children aged 10 to 14 would be allowed outside again from February.
The president claimed the decision was made amid growing concerns about the spread of the more contagious British variant of Covid-19, which has been found in 17 people in the country, including three children.
“I am just scared because this new strain strikes the young children,” he said in his weekly national address, adding, “It’s a sacrifice for the parents and for the children.”
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Duterte’s government has imposed some of the world’s toughest restrictions on its people, including internal travel bans, and has officially prohibited minors from leaving the family home since March last year.
The Philippines has been one of the nations in South East Asia hardest hit by the coronavirus, registering more than half a million cases since the start of the pandemic and over 10,000 deaths.
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