President Duterte retains Metro Manila restriction until August 15

Metro Manila will remain under the general community quarantine (GCQ) until August 15, 2020, as well as other selected areas in the country, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte announced during a public address on Friday.

Cebu City was also downgraded to GCQ starting August 1 to August 15 from modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).

Other areas placed under GCQ are Bulacan, Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal in Luzon; Lapu-Lapu City, Mandaue City, Talisay City, Minglanilla and Consolacion in the Visayas; and Zamboanga City in Mindanao.

The rest of the country will be under the modified GCQ, the President said.

“Itong mga sinabi ko mga — Philippines, eh tiis-tiis muna kayo. Iyon lang. The entire Philippines, okay na, modified general community. Kaunting ingat lang… Do not mix together and observe itong distancing, the distance rule. Iyan lang hingiin ko sa inyo,” he told the public as the country awaits a vaccine.

“Pero huwag kayong matakot, hindi ako nagyayabang, may bright tayo na finance secretary, may military ako na maasahan ko.”

Also during the meeting with President Duterte, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque has announced conditionalities that will be imposed on Metro Manila and Calabarzon, which are under extended GCQ.

These include carrying out strict localized lockdown or imposition of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) on barangays with 80 percent COVID-19 cases and stringent enforcement of minimum health standards—mask wearing, social distancing, face shield use and frequent hand washing.

Massive targeted testing, intensified tracing as well as quarantine of close contacts will also be imposed, Roque said, adding the government has secured 10 million testing kits for barangays that will undergo lockdowns.

Bed capacities for hospitals treating COVID-19 cases will also be augmented, the Palace spokesman said.

For government hospitals, bed allotments for COVID-19 cases will be increased from 30 to 50 percent. And for private hospitals, the bed capacity will be adjusted from 20 to 30 percent.

“One Hospital Command” system, housed at the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), will also be used to systematically allot beds to COVID-19 patients, he added. (PND)

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