MANILA, Philippines – Community quarantine measures may not be relaxed yet in the National Capital Region (NCR), according to National Task Force against COVID-19 Chief Implementer Sec. Carlito Galvez.
Galvez said areas with high cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are likely to remain under general community quarantine (GCQ) if the situation will not improve.
He noted the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases in the NCR and the region’s hospital occupancy has already reached 70% in the past five days.
On July 15, the existing community quarantine measures across the country will lapse and President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to announce the government’s decision as to which quarantine restriction should the NCR be placed beginning July 16.
However, Malacañang said the numbers cannot yet justify Metro Manila’s shift from GCQ to modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).
“Datos po ang tinitingnan natin. Kung tayo po ay magluluwag, siguro po at this point, the data does not indicate na pwedeng magluwag at least sa Metro Manila, para lang po to manage expectations [We are looking into data. If we are to ease (restrictions) at this point, the data does not indicate that we can ease at least in Metro Manila, just to manage expectations],” explained Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.
Galvez also stressed that even Metro Manila mayors recommended retaining the GCQ in their respective areas or implementing hybrid status which means opening all businesses while observing safety precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Galvez noted, however, that there are other areas where stricter quarantine restrictions will be imposed starting July 16.
“Mayroon pong nag-escalate, at mga area na ito ay nakita nating nagkaroon ng new cases at spikes [There are areas that escalated. And these areas are where new cases and spikes were reported],” Galvez concluded. —MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)