Covid Outbreak Shuts One in Five Branches of Manila’s Big Banks
(Bloomberg) -- One-fifth of Philippine universal banks’ branches in the capital region are closed, as the fast-spreading omicron variant caused staff shortage, central bank Governor Benjamin Diokno said, adding that the ratio is double for smaller lenders.
“Most transactions you can do digitally, so that’s not a problem,” Diokno said in an interview on Tuesday. “There’s no dysfunction in the delivery of services,” with clients able to transact in other nearby branches, he said.
A surge in Covid-19 cases, which reached a daily record of 33,169 on Monday, also disrupted airlines and hospitals. Nearly three dozen Globe Telecom Inc. stores are temporarily closed, it said in a statement Tuesday, adding it was “not spared from the current challenges of rising community infections.”
Over two in five persons tested for the virus in the Philippines actually have it, while more than half of beds in hospitals’ intensive care units and wards in Metro Manila are occupied.
Health officials are considering cutting required quarantine and isolation, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a briefing. While the surge in infections in the capital has yet to translate to the same spike in critical cases, it doesn’t mean hospitals aren’t burdened, she said.
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