The government’s coronavirus task force wants President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to extend the current general community quarantine (GCQ) in the National Capital Region and its adjacent provinces or the so-called NCR Plus from July 1 to 15 to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Aside from extending the current restrictions in Metro Manila and its nearby provinces, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) recommended that 21 areas in the country be placed under the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) until July 15.
The IATF announced its recommendations for the month of July during President Duterte’s weekly public address on the government’s COVID-19 response Monday night.
From July 1 to 15, the IATF suggested placing Metro Manila, Rizal, and Bulacan under general community quarantine (GCQ) “with some restrictions” and Laguna and Cavite under GCQ “with heightened restrictions.” The NCR Plus is made up of these five areas.
Areas that will also be under GCQ for the same period include Batangas, Quezon province, Baguio City, Ifugao province, City of Santiago, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Guimaras, Aklan, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, Antique, Capiz, Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga City, Iligan City, General Santos City, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, Cotabato, South Cotabato, and Cotabato City, Agusan del Norte, Surigao del Norte and Agusan del Sur.
While the situation in the capital region has improved, an uptrend in infections was detected in other regions, including more urbanized locations such as the cities of Butuan, Davao, Iloilo, Naga, Lucena, Cagayan de Oro, and Puerto Princesa.
These areas will be observing the stricter modified enhanced community quarantine or MECQ for the same period.
Other areas placed under MECQ until July 15, 2021 were Cagayan Province, Apayao, Bataan, Negros Oriental, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte, Davao Oriental, Davao Occidental, Davao de Oro, Davao del Sur, Davao del Norte, Dinagat Islands, and Surigao del Sur.
The rest of the Philippines will remain under the more lenient modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) quarantine classification, which allows businesses to operate normally while adhering to minimum health standards such as social distancing and the use of face masks and shields.
The country has recorded a total of 1,403,588 coronavirus infections. According to the health department, active cases in the country totaled 52,029, with 24,456 deaths as of June 28.
During Monday’s meeting with the President, vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said the Philippines had been able to administer at least 10 million COVID-19 vaccine doses. PND