Partial mall reopening may be allowed as Philippines lockdown eases: Pernia

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 16 2020 11:41 AM | Updated as of Apr 16 2020 02:30 PM

Streets of Bay City in Pasay are nearly empty due to the Luzon lockdown in this photo taken on April 7, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA -- Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said Thursday a "calibrated" reopening of shopping malls could be part of the partial easing of the Philippines' coronavirus lockdown.

The Philippines has to be "very careful" in lifting the lockdown to prevent a fresh wave of infections. Construction of infrastructure projects under President Rodrigo Duterte's "Build, Build, Build" could also be allowed to resume, Pernia told DZMM.

"Parang calibrated opening siguro of malls and other areas where we can still have the necessary safeguards against contracting the disease," said Pernia.

(Maybe a calibrated opening of malls and other areas where we can still have the necessary safeguards against contracting the disease.)

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Mall operators SM, Robinsons, Ayala Land and Megaworld have suspended mall operations, except for groceries and pharmacies during the lockdown period, that required half of the country's 100 million people to stay at home.

The so-called enhanced community quarantine or ECQ started on March 17 and was extended until April 30.

Pernia said Filipinos should also start preparing for a "new normal" post-lockdown. Officials earlier said this could include physical distancing and wearing of face masks.