Coronavirus News Asia

Duterte uses Covid-19 crisis to tighten his grip


In a bid to stem a Covid-19 epidemic and enforce a dithering capital lockdown, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte was granted emergency powers today (March 24) to contain the viral spread by his legislative allies who dominate the national Congress.

The new emergency measures will give the president additional powers to, among other things, realign public funds, direct the operation of private hospitals and directly oversee Metro-Manila’s soldier-backed lockdown operations which have so far proved porous.

The Philippines has confirmed 462 Covid-19 cases with 33 related deaths. Fears are growing, however, that the lethal disease may be more widespread due to a lack of extensive testing.  



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