Metro Manila GCQ extended until June 30; Cebu City put on ECQ
(Philstar.com) - June 16, 2020 - 12:18am

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 12:42 a.m.) — Metro Manila will remain under a general community quarantine until the end of June, two weeks after the GCQ was announced to help restart the country's economy.

Cebu City has meanwhile been placed under enhanced community quarantine, the Palace said.

"[President Rodrigo Roa Duterte] places Cebu City under ECQ; Metro Manila remains GCQ. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, in his Talk to the People Address on June 15, placed Cebu City under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) starting June 16," presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a report by News5 AKSYON.

In a statement, Roque said that Talisay City in Cebu will be on Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine.

READ: What is modified, enhanced, general quarantine? Here's how to tell the difference

The following areas in the Visayas will be under GCQ until the end of the month:

Luzon

  • Santiago City
  • Cagayan 
  • Isabela
  • Nueva Vizcaya
  • Quirino
  • Aurora
  • Bataan
  • Bulacan
  • Tarlac
  • Olongapo City
  • Cavite 
  • Laguna
  • Batangas
  • Rizal
  • Quezon
  • Occidental Mindoro

Visayas

  • Mandaue City
  • Lapu-Lapu City
  • Cebu province
  • Bohol
  • Negros Oriental

Davao City and Zamboanga City in Mindanao will also be under GCQ.

"The rest of the country remains under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) until June 30, 2020," he added.

The announcement, which the Palace made in a statement, comes after the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases recommended quarantine levels for areas in the Philippines.

A pre-recorded video of the IATF meeting was airing when Roque made the announcement past midnight on Tuesday, June 16.

Duterte himself earlier warned the public that a return to ECQ was in the realm of possibility should the rate of infection speed up.

According to the president’s report to Congress on June 8, only 366,423 persons have been tested for the new pathogen, good for 0.0003% percent of the country’s population. 

Under the 'Bayanihan' Act, the president is supposed to give Congress a report on how he has used the powers granted him to address the COVID-19 pandemic. The report has yet to be released as of this post.

The health department has said it was aiming to test 1.5% of the population amid calls for mass testing, which the Palace has claimed meant testing everyone in the country.

The first fifteen days of GCQ have seen commuters suffer a severe lack of mass transportation options. 

READ: Premature GCQ in Metro Manila could add 24K cases, 1,700 deaths by June — UP study

This, while the World Health Organization has said the contact tracing efforts in the country were slow. 

Researchers from the University of Santo Tomas have said that this stage of the pandemic requires a "testing capacity of 15,000 tests per day and 1,800 contact tracers" in Metro Manila.

Earlier, experts from the University of the Philippines warned that a premature graduation to general community quarantine would result in 24,000 cases and 1,700 deaths by June 15.  

That case toll had already been breached by June 11, after GCQ was still implemented at the start of the month. 

As of this writing, over 26,000 Filipinos have been infected with the coronavirus. 

Almost 2,000 have died. — Franco Luna with reports from Gaea Katreena Cabico

GENERAL COMMUNITY QUARANTINE NOVEL CORONAVIRUS PRESIDENT RODRIGO DUTERTE
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