Most parts of the country will remain under relaxed community quarantine levels until August 31, as the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) on Friday placed Nueva Ecija, Batangas, Quezon in Luzon under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) beginning August 16.
President Rodrigo Duterte approved to keep the status quo – a modified GCQ – in most parts of the country, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Saturday, even as the number of COVID-19 infections in the country continues to increase.
The announcement came as prevailing community quarantine protocols expired in most parts of the country on Saturday, except for Metro Manila and neighboring provinces Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal.
These areas will remain under the stricter modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) until August 18.
Other areas under GCQ are Iloilo City, Cebu City, Lapu Lapu City, Mandaue City, Talisay City, the municipalities of Minglanilla and Consolacion in Cebu province for the Visayas.
The rest of the country are placed under MGCQ, with some provinces, highly urbanized cities and independent component cities with strict enforcement of local action.
The National Task Force (NTF) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) are directed to ensure that areas flagged for local action shall implement strict lockdown of areas in line with the Zoning Containment Strategy, strict enforcement of minimum public health standards, and intensified tracing and quarantine of close contacts and isolation of confirmed cases, Roque said.
The following areas will remain under general community quarantine until Aug. 31:
Most industries can operate in the two quarantine classifications although at varying levels. Roque said localized lockdowns would, meanwhile, continue in areas where infection spikes are detected.
“Even in areas under GCQ and MGCQ we will have localized ECQ, so there is no lend to ECQ because this is now localized or granular,” Roque said in a televised briefing.
He said the government would be looking for clusters of infection in enforcing localized lockdowns, so that strict quarantine won't have to be enforced in entire cities or provinces.
“Where the clusters are, that's where the lockdown will take effect, not the entire city or province,” Roque said.
President Duterte, meanwhile, is expected to announce the quarantine classification for Metro Manila and nearby Luzon provinces on Monday.