The ongoing worldwide pandemic, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus, the first case of coronavirus was first recorded and confirmed on 30 January in the Philippines. Metro Manila is the worst affected region in the Philippines, where most cases are recorded and it is considered as the epicentre of the pandemic in the country. Community quarantines have been in place in the region since March 15.
The Manila casino industry will have to wait at least two more weeks or more before it has any hope of reopening. With the rise of COVID-19 cases, President Rodrigo Duterte has shifted the Manila area Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) from its General Community Quarantine (GCQ), shutting down almost all non essential services once again. Last week, the President’s office had vaguely stated that if the 85,000 mark of the total viral infections is crossed by the end of August, then quarantine restriction will be bolstered. Crossing the 100,000 mark, as of August 3, 2020, there have been 106,330 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines.
When the country passed the 85k mark, it was unclear what would be done. At the same time 38,000 patients had been declared recovered from the lethal coronavirus but with no testing to confirm their complete recovery. This confused the public and the decision was made with as much suspense as possible. The decision led to a wave of social media protests led by the doctors and nurses who have been consistently treating patients since March in regard to the pandemic.
The shift back to MECQ effectively means all mass transit is now prohibited except for essentials, and only some manufacturing businesses may remain in operation while working at 50 percent capacity. While in GCQ, some businesses like restaurants were allowed to operate with social distancing imposed and factories were working at 75 percent, this has now been taken off the table as well, further harming the operations of resorts and casinos that were capitalising on this piece of their business to bring back their revenue.
The MECQ is currently scheduled to last between 4 August and 18 August, provided the new infections decrease compared to the current rate of cases which is roughly around 5,000 cases per day. That puts a potential reopening of casino facilities at least a month away, but in all likelihood the actual date when gamblers will start coming back in the doors is much further off. Stay tuned for more updates on gambling and casino stories, keep reading GutshotMagazine.com