Palace weighs possible shift to ‘ordinary’ GCQ in NCR Plus

Palace weighs possible shift to ‘ordinary’ GCQ in NCR Plus

MANILA – Malacañang on Thursday raised the possibility that National Capital Region (NCR) Plus will be placed under “ordinary” general community quarantine (GCQ) in July.

In a virtual presser, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said quarantine restrictions would likely be eased, considering that the healthcare utilization rate in Metro Manila is “looking good” and “remains very low.”

“Based on the figures, Metro Manila Plus might be looking at the de-escalation. It might not be to MGCQ (modified GCQ) but it could be to ordinary GCQ because ang GCQ po natin ngayon ay mayroon pang mga restriction (the current status of GCQ [in NCR Plus] have restrictions),” Roque said.

Roque noted that only 53 percent of intensive care unit (ICU) beds, 39 percent of isolation beds, 37 percent of ward beds, and 35 percent of ventilators have been utilized in Metro Manila, as of June 9.

NCR Plus, which is composed of Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal, is under GCQ “with restrictions” until June 30.

Initially, Manila and its four nearby provinces were placed under GCQ “with heightened restrictions” from May 15 to 31.

‘Data-driven’

The implementation of quarantine status in areas outside NCR Plus starting July 1 would depend on data, Roque said.

“We are always data-driven po. So I do not want to speculate dahil hindi ko po nakikita yung datos doon sa ibang mga areas (because I have not seen yet the data covering other areas),” he said.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases is depending on its recommendation for the declaration of quarantine classifications in the country on the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) daily attack rate, two-week average attack rate, and healthcare utilization rate.

Apart from NCR Plus, other areas under GCQ until the end of June include Abra, Baguio City, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Batangas, Quezon, Iligan City, Davao City, Lanao del Sur, Cotabato City, and General Santos City.

The more restrictive modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) is imposed in Davao City until June 20 and the City of Santiago, Cagayan, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Puerto Princesa, Iloilo City, Zamboanga City, Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte, Cagayan de Oro City, Butuan City, and Agusan del Sur in Caraga until June 15.

The rest of the country remains under the least restrictive modified GCQ. (PNA)

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