The number of coronavirus cases in the Philippines rose to 7,958, with 181 new cases reported by the Department of Health as of 4 pm on Tuesday, April 28.
The DOH recorded 19 new fatalities, bringing the country's COVID-19 death toll to 530.
Meanwhile, 43 more coronavirus patients have recovered, bringing total recoveries to 975.
The Philippines is settling into the "new normal" brought about by the novel coronavirus pandemic, as its lawmakers propose a law that would institutionalize practices enforced during lockdowns even after they are officially lifted.
Earlier on Tuesday, high-ranking members of the House of Representatives filed House Bill No. 6623 or the "New Normal for the Workplace and Public Spaces Act of 2020."
Under this “new normal” bill, Filipinos would be required to wear face masks and practice physical distancing – stay at least one meter apart when they are in public.
Temperature checks, handwashing, and sanitizing stations would be mandatory in public spaces.
The proposed measure also provides for mass testing for the coronavirus, including the establishment of drive-through, phone-in, and other non-contact modes of COVID-19 testing. Efforts to procure test kits and personal protective equipment, and to set up more laboratories and quarantine facilities would also continue.
The government would create a schedule for pedestrians traveling to and from their workplaces, and provide transportation for them. Physical distancing and sanitizing would be mandatory on public transport.
Community quarantine restrictions on public gatherings and public transportation are also institutionalized in the proposed measure.
If passed into law, provisions of the new normal bill would be valid for at most 3 years or shorter, depending on President Rodrigo Duterte’s final declaration, based on recommendations by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging and Infectious Diseases.
Metro Manila and parts of Luzon with high concentrations of COVID-19 cases will remain in enhanced community quarantine or lockdown until May 15. Lockdowns in less critical provinces will ease into the less stringent "general community quarantine" after April 30.
On Friday, the government removed Aurora, Aklan, Capiz, Davao del Norte, and Davao de Oro from the ECQ list and said these provinces would only be under general community quarantine from May 1 to 15. – Rappler.com
JC Gotinga often reports about the West Philippine Sea, the communist insurgency, and terrorism as he covers national defense and security for Rappler. He enjoys telling stories about his hometown, Pasig City. JC has worked with Al Jazeera, CNN Philippines, News5, and CBN Asia.