Philippine general community quarantine extended over Cebu City, Nueva Ecija, Batangas, Quezon

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in Tokyo, Japan, May 31, 2019. © Reuters / Kazuhiro Nogi / Pool. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

MANILA, Aug 15, 2020, The Manila Times. President Rodrigo Duterte extended the general community quarantine (GCQ) in Cebu City in Visayas; and Nueva Ecija, Batangas, Quezon in Luzon beginning August 16 until August 31, Malacañang announced on Saturday, The Manila Times reported.

Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said the decision on new community quarantine classifications was made following the meeting of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases on Friday.

He said other areas under GCQ were Iloilo 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 Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ), with some provinces, highly urbanized cities and independent component cities with strict enforcement of local action,” Roque said.

“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,” he added.

Meanwhile, Roque said the community quarantine classification of the National Capital Region, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal would be announced by President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday.

The President has agreed to reimpose modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal from August 4 to 18 after the health frontliners appealed for a timeout.

The medical community called for stricter lockdown to ease the burden on the healthcare system from the huge spike in coronavirus cases.

Metro Manila and the four areas were under a more relaxed GCQ prior to the plea from the medical professionals.

Roque said extending the MECQ in the capital region and neighboring areas would be “highly unlikely” after the government ran out of funds for financial aid for sectors affected by the pandemic.

The country now has the highest coronavirus cases in Southeast Asia following recent spikes in the number of infections.

As of August 14, more than 153,000 people have been infected with the coronavirus in the country. The country’s death toll has soared to 2,442.

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