The National Capital Region (NCR) remains under the general community quarantine (GCQ) starting today, July 16, until the end of the month per recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), which was approved by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.
In his press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque, Jr said that in yesterday’s meeting with some members of the Cabinet, the President almost considered the option of returning Metro Manila under the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ), given the current data on critical factors and the number of cases.
“Tulad po ng sinabi ko, napagkasunduan na GCQ pa rin ang Metro Manila sa susunod na dalawang linggo, bagama’t kamuntik na nga pong maging MECQ,” said Secretary Roque.
The Palace, however, mentions that NCR may still be placed back under MECQ after July 31. “Ngunit kung wala nga pong pagbabago sa numero at magiging pabaya ang mga tao, posibleng bumalik po ang Metro Manila sa MECQ,” stressed Roque.
The Palace official also revealed that in the IATF meeting with the Chief Executive, PRRD asked experts from the University of the Philippines (UP) who were invited as resource persons, if the economy can be opened amidst the rising number of COVID-19 cases.
“At ang naging kasagutan naman ng lahat kasama na po ang UP diyan ay kakayanin naman po basta ipatupad nga itong ating stratehiya: localized lockdown, mas maigting na testing, tracing, and treatment. Yung mga vulnerables, kinakailangan po talagang maging homeliners,” said Sec. Roque, issuing a stern warning that those considered as vulnerable may be a part of mortality data if they continue to ignore the advice to stay at home.
Metro Manila mayors also vowed to do better. “At nandoon naman talaga yung pangako ng mga mayor na talagang aktibo nilang gagamitin ang localized, granular lockdown at papaigtingin nga ang T3. So yun po ang basehan kung bakit hindi na po naipatupad ang MECQ sa Metro Manila, pero yan po ay for the next two weeks lamang,” explained Secretary Roque.
In the same press briefing, Roque said that local governments units (LGUs) in the NCR are directed to submit daily trend of active cases, number, and percent of population; cases in community isolation facility versus health facility; percent of close contacts traced and percent of contacts in quarantine; number and utilization of isolation beds; met health system capacity targets and utilization; and COVID Special Teams investigations and results.
For areas that have been flagged for strict local action, the National Task Force and the Department of Interior and Local Government will ensure the implementation of strict lockdown in areas with the Zoning Containment Strategy, strict enforcement of minimum health standards, and intensified tracing and quarantine of close contacts and isolation of confirmed cases.
Finally, the IATF approved the recommendation to ensure the complementary increase of the business sector’s capacity vis-a-vis available transportation to revitalize the economy in the NCR and Region 4-A, with the Department of Trade and Industry, the Department of Labor and Employment and the Department of Transportation as lead agencies ### OPS-PCOO