MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte has extended the general community quarantine (GCQ) classification of Cebu City until the end of August and so with Nueva Ecija and Quezon in Luzon and Iloilo City in Visayas which he reverted all to GCQ.
The said areas are currently under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ), the least restrictive classification in the country, but rising cases of Covid prompted Duterte to revert them back to GCQ.
Changes in the community quarantine classifications were announced by Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque saying “they are contained in Resolution No. 63 of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases.”
The following are the areas under GCQ from August 16 to 31:
MGCQ for entire Mindanao, rest of country
Meanwhile, the rest of the country will be under MGCQ from August 16 to 31 and so with the entire region of Mindanao.
Previously under GCQ, Zamboanga City has also been downgraded to MGCQ.
The quarantine classification for Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal, which are under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) until Tuesday, August 18, stays the same until further notice.
The President is expected to announce new quarantine classifications for these Luzon hubs on Monday, August 17.
Restrictions in many parts of the country may have been eased but Roque said local governments could still implement “localized, granular” ECQ in barangays or areas within provinces or cities, regardless of the province-wide or city-wide quarantine classification.
“I would like to make clear that even in areas under GCQ and even under MGCQ, there will still be localized ECQ, so ECQ will really have no end because our ECQ now is localized or granular,” said Roque.
In localized lockdowns, the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the National Task Force have been ordered to ensure that local executives strictly enforce health protocols like mask-wearing and social distancing.
“Intensified tracing and quarantine” of close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases, said Roque.
As for Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal, and Laguna, Roque said that regardless of what quarantine classification Duterte will announce on Monday, the localized lockdowns will be “stricter.”
“We are running after clusters of disease, the areas with clusters of [COVID-19] are what will be placed under lockdown,” said Roque.
Of this writing, caseload of PH on coronavirus already 153,000 cases including more than 2,400 deaths.