Duterte hints at declaring modified quarantine: ‘We might open partially’
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte hinted on Monday night the possibility of easing the strict movement restrictions imposed in several areas of the country to curtail the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“We might open partially — construction workers and things like that… You wait for the… It will come out. It will be a modified quarantine,” Duterte said, speaking partly in Filipino, in a televised public address.
“We will allow sectors of the society that are not really crowded,” he added.
The President, however, did not provide more details on the possible modification of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), which he had extended until May 15 in Metro Manila, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Albay, and Catanduanes.
In mid-March, Duterte placed the entire Luzon, home to over 50 million people, under ECQ to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. It was supposed to end on April 13, but he approved a proposal to extend it for over two weeks, or until April 30.
Meanwhile, areas deemed to have a low to a moderate number of COVID-19 cases will be placed under a general community quarantine starting May 1, for which some restrictions will be relaxed.
The Philippines has so far recorded 7,777 cases of the respiratory illness, including 932 recoveries and 511 deaths.
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