MECQ for Lanao del Sur; Metro Manila, other urban areas under GCQ for another month
(Philstar.com) - September 28, 2020 - 11:07pm

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 11:24 p.m.) — The government’s inter-agency task force recommended to keep Metro Manila, which accounts for more than half of the country’s coronavirus cases, under general community quarantine until the end of October.

Meanwhile, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases recommended placing Lanao del Sur, including Marawi City, under a stricter modified enhanced community quarantine. 

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque later told reporters that President Rodrigo Duterte approved the recommendations. 

Aside from Metro Manila, Batangas, Tacloban City, Bacolod City, Iligan City and Iloilo City will also be under GCQ, under the IATF’s recommendation.

The rest of the country will be under modified GCQ, the most relaxed form of community quarantine.

The new quarantine classifications will be in effect beginning October 1, Wednesday.

New metrics 

The government’s coronavirus task force is now using two new metrics to evaluate the health situation of different provinces in the country: the two-week growth rate and daily attack rate.

The two-week growth rate refers to the growth in the number of infections for the past two weeks. The daily attack rate, meanwhile, tracks the increase or decrease of confirmed cases in a certain area or population.

The Department of Health said Monday there is a seeming downtrend in the number of new COVID-19 cases but it advised the public to remain vigilant against the virus and continue practicing minimum health standards.

Researchers studying the coronavirus outbreak in the country also noted a decline in the number of cases in the country, including the capital region. But they warned that the premature relaxation of quarantine measures in Metro Manila would result in an “exponential” rise in cases by Christmas.

The government first imposed quarantine measures in mid-March to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.

The country’s confirmed coronavirus cases reached over 307,000. Of the figure, 252,665 have recovered, while 5,381 have died. 

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