Cebu City stays under strictest ECQ; no easing of restrictions in Metro Manila
Gaea Katreena Cabico ( - July 1, 2020 - 12:12am

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 1:02 a.m.) — Cebu City, now the epicenter of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in the Visayas, will remain under enhanced community quarantine until July 15, President Rodrigo Duterte announced past midnight on Wednesday. 

Cebu City was first reverted to the strictest community quarantine on June 15 after it saw an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases that has overwhelmed the metropolis’ health system. 

“Cebu is now the hotspot of COVID-19. Why? Many of you did not follow (the rules),” the president said. 

Last week, the Department of Health identified Cebu City as one of the emerging hotspots for the coronavirus due to spike in infections. 

A study by researchers from the University of the Philippines and the University of Santo Tomas said Cebu City is expected to have 15,000 cases by the end of July if ECQ remains implemented.

But if restrictions on movement were relaxed, COVID-19 infections may swell between 20,000 and 30,000 by end-July. 

Duterte assigned environment chief Roy Cimatu to oversee the COVID-19 response of the city. 

Metro Manila remains under GCQ

Metro Manila, which accounts for half of the country’s confirmed cases, meanwhile will remain under less stringent general community quarantine until July 15.

Duterte said that while violations were still recorded, there was “substantial compliance” in Metro Manila.  

The Palace had earlier tagged Metro Manila residents as "pasaway" or stubborn but said before the capital shifted to GCQ on June 1 that they "[had] proven that they can comply."

RELATED: Government banks on 'discipline' as likely shift to GCQ nears

“There were violations but not in a scale I saw in other places,” he said. 

Duterte also placed the following areas under GCQ until July 15:

•    Benguet
•    Cavite
•    Rizal
•    Lapu Lapu City
•    Mandaue City 
•    Leyte 
•    Ormoc
•    Southern Leyte
•    Talisay City (Cebu province)
•    Minglanilla (Cebu province)
•    Consolacion (Cebu province)

The following areas will be under modified GCQ but "strict local action will be enforced":

•    CAR: Abra, Baguio City, Ifugao, Kalinga
•    Region 1: Ilocos Norte, La Union, Pangasinan
•    Region 2: Cagayan, Isabela
•    Region 3: Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Angeles City
•    Regon 4A: Batangas, Laguna, Quezon, Lucena City
•    Region 4B: Palawan, Puerto Princesa City
•    Region 5: Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Naga City
•    Region 6: Capiz, Iloilo, Iloilo City, Negros Occidental, Bacolod City
•    Region 7: Cebu province, Bohol, Negros Oriental
•    Region 8: Tacloban City, Western Samar
•    Region 9: Zamboanga City, Zambonga Del Sur
•    Region 10: Bukidnon, Misamis, Occidental, Misamis Oriental, Cagayan de Oro
•    Region 11: Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao City, Davao de Oro
•    Region 12: Cotabato, South Cotabato
•    Region 13: Agusan del Norte, Butuan City
•    BARMM: Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao

Localized community quarantines, zoning and strict enforcement of minimum health standards will be implemented in these areas. 

The rest of the country will be under MGCQ—the lowest form of community quarantine in the Philippines.

To date, the COVID-19 pandemic has so far sickened 37,514 people in the Philippines, with 1,266 deaths. 

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