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Asia Today: Philippine Tourist Sites Reopen 'Cautiously'

Asia Today: Philippine Tourist Sites Reopen 'Cautiously'

Manila (AP) Two of the most popular Philippine tourist destinations, including Boracay beach, have partially reopened, drawing only a fraction of their usual huge crowds given continuing coronavirus restrictions. Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said Friday that 35 local tourists, including seven from Manila, came on the first day of the reopening of Boracay, a central island famous for its powdery white sands, azure waters and stunning sunsets. Only local tourists from regions with low-level quarantine designations could go, subject to safeguards, including tests showing a visitor is coronavirus-free..

Manila (AP) Two of the most popular Philippine tourist destinations, including Boracay beach, have partially reopened, drawing only a fraction of their usual huge crowds given continuing coronavirus restrictions. Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said Friday that 35 local tourists, including seven from Manila, came on the first day of the reopening of Boracay, a central island famous for its powdery white sands, azure waters and stunning sunsets. Only local tourists from regions with low-level quarantine designations could go, subject to safeguards, including tests showing a visitor is coronavirus-free.

The mountain city of Baguio, regarded as a summer hideaway for its pine trees, cool breeze and picturesque upland views, has been reopened to tourists only from its northern region, she told ABS-CBN News. Despite the urgent need to revive the tourism industry, it’s being done very slowly, cautiously, she said, adding mayors and governors would have to approve the reopening of tourism spots. We really have to be careful, she said.

Like in most countries, the pandemic has devastated the tourism industry in the Philippines, which now has the most confirmed COVID-19 cases in Southeast Asia at more than 314,000, with 5,504 deaths. In other developments from the Asia-Pacific region: India’s COVID-19 fatalities are closing on 100,000 with another 1,095 deaths reported in the past 24 hours. The update by the Health Ministry on Friday raised India’s death toll to 99,773. Its reported deaths are low for a country with nearly 1.4 billion people and more than 6.3 million cases of coronavirus infection, but experts say it may not be counting many deaths. The ministry also reported 81,484 new cases of infection on Friday. Total cases jumped from 1 million in mid-July to more than 6 million in less than two and a half months. New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bengaluru are the main urban centers of the infections, accounting for one in every seven confirmed cases and one in every five deaths in the country.(AP) .

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