One day before the second lockdown of Metro Manila is supposed to end, the Philippines is no closer to containing the novel coronavirus, which has already claimed 2,681 lives in the country and infected more than 161,000 others – the most confirmed cases of any Southeast Asian nation.

Movement restrictions, reimposed on August 4 for two weeks after the Philippines’ medical community warned that the country’s health care system would soon be overwhelmed, followed on from one of the world’s…