Manila’s mayor, the former actor Francisco Domagoso, banned the daytime use of “karaokes, videokes and other sound producing devices” beginning Thursday, after complaints from irate parents home-schooling their children amid the pandemic.
Mr. Domagoso said his office had received multiple calls from parents who said their children could not concentrate with the noise.
“I pity our parents and students who are trying to go through online schooling while being disturbed by karaoke noise in the background,” Mr. Domagoso, more popularly known by his movie name Isko Moreno, told The New York Times.
The sound machines have long been a blight among Manila’s tightly packed communities. The pastime, however, has gained a new popularity of late, with many taking to singing to while away the boredom of isolation.
Mr. Domagoso said that those caught violating the ordinance would be fined up to 3,000 pesos (about $61).
On Thursday, 144 people were reported to have died in the Philippines, bringing the country’s death toll to 6,069 — one of the region’s highest. More than 2,300 new cases were also reported, with the total number of cases now at 331,869, according to the Department of Health.
Much of the country has remained on lockdown, although the government has begun to gradually open up tourism and other parts of the economy.
In other developments around the world:
The European Union signed a deal with Gilead, the California-based pharmaceutical company, to ensure uninterrupted access to an antiviral drug being used to treat Covid-19. Veklury, also known as remdesivir, has been authorized by more than 50 countries, including the United States and in Europe, for the treatment of Covid-19 patients needing supplemental oxygen. The deal signed between Gilead and the European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, would allow all members of the European Union, as well as the United Kingdom, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and several Balkan countries to buy up to 500,000 treatment courses in the next six months.
Poland will make face masks mandatory in public spaces starting Saturday in response to a second day of record-high case numbers, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced on Thursday. “The second wave has reached us, and we need to face it in a decisive way,” Mr. Morawiecki said. The new rule will not apply in forests, parks and beaches. Poland had implemented a lockdown early in the pandemic, but loosened restrictions over the summer, and bars and restaurants remain open.