MANILA (UPDATED/CORRECTED) - Greenhills Shopping Center in San Juan, which recorded the country's first local transmission of COVID-19, has "cut a big number" of tiangges and modified its layout to enforce physical distancing, the city's mayor said Tuesday.
As Metro Manila went on strict lockdown, the city ordered closed its malls and churches after the country's 5th COVID-19 patient had frequented a Muslim prayer hall in Greenhills.
"They’ve cut a big number from the existing tiangges so that physical distancing can be achieved. The usual inline tiangges are now modified into spaced out tiangges, also the hallways and corridors are now one-way so you cannot come across other customers face to face," Mayor Francis Zamora told ANC.
Businesses must also submit their return to work plans to the city government for approval, he added.
"What is really important is the slow transition into the new normal. We really have to start transitioning not just ourselves but also our businesses," Zamora said. "We want to strike a balance between the health and safety of the people and help the economy. We cannot do this overnight."
The city is prepared should national government further ease Metro Manila's lockdown to general community quarantine (GCQ) in June, according to the mayor.
San Juan has recorded 275 COVID-19 cases, with 119 recoveries and 36 deaths as of May 23, according to the health department.
The Philippines has so far reported 14,319 cases of the new coronavirus, with 3,323 recoveries and 873 deaths.
(Editor's note: An earlier version of this story used a photo of a supermarket in San Juan, not a photo of Greenhills' tiangge stalls. Our apologies to Greenhills management.)