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Palace to public: Be vigilant, follow health protocols during MECQ, GCQ

/ 07:20 PM May 17, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Sunday advised the public not to be relaxed and still follow health protocols set to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The Palace made the statement after receiving reports that people flocked to shopping malls with “complete disregard” of physical distancing on the first day of the enforcement of the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) and the general community quarantine (GCQ).

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“We advise the public not to be complacent and to follow health protocols set by authorities after we received reports of people who trooped to the malls with complete disregard of social/physical distancing measures on the first day of our shift from enhanced community quarantine to modified enhanced community quarantine and general community quarantine in Luzon,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.

Roque stressed that the public must understand that the government has started to slowly ease quarantine restrictions in order to revitalize the country’s economy, and “not because we are safe.”

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He said Filipinos must learn from the experience of other countries like South Korea which contained the spread of the new coronavirus but later experienced a spike in COVID-19 cases “when citizens became relaxed.”

“The Palace, therefore, asks for the cooperation of the public as the whole country remains in quarantine. We must not put to waste our collective efforts and sacrifices,” said the Palace official.

“Stay at home, go out to do essential work, or when authorized as we ramp up testing. We must continue to be vigilant of the risks of COVID-19, conduct proper hygiene, wear face masks or face shields, and observe social or physical distancing,” he added.

Based on the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease Resolution No. 37, Cebu City and Mandaue City will still be under ECQ until May 31.

Meanwhile, eight other high-risk areas will be under MECQ until the end of the month. These are Metro Manila, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Zambales, Angeles City, and Laguna.

Data from the Department of Health showed the number of COVID-19 cases in the country rose to 12,513 as of Sunday. The death toll is now at 824 while the number of patients who have recovered from the illness is at 2,635.

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/MUF

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