No more ‘new normal’? Philippines to keep coronavirus quarantines for now
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang announced Tuesday that the government’s task force on COVID-19 pandemic has temporarily removed the “new normal” classification in its community quarantine phases as it eyes to keep coronavirus lockdowns in place for now.
“Sa ngayon po wala munang new normal. Ibig sabihin lahat ng lugar po sa Pilipinas meron pa rin community quarantine,” Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said in a televised press briefing.
(For now, there will be no new normal. This means that all areas in the Philippines will stay under community quarantine.)
Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) had approved the recalibration of the current parameters on the quarantine protocols.
Roque said high-risk areas would be placed under the most stringent enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) or the modified ECQ, while moderate-risk areas will be put under general community quarantine (GCQ) or the modified GCQ.
Meanwhile, low-risk areas will remain under MGCQ instead of transitioning to the so-called “new normal.”
The government will still use the case doubling time and critical care utilization rate in identifying which community quarantine classifications will be imposed in a specific area, Roque said.
The Palace official, however, noted that changes in the community quarantine system are only temporary.
Except for Cebu City, which is placed under ECQ and Talisay City, which is now under modified ECQ due to high transmission rate, and the increasing demand for critical care, the rest of the areas in the country are under GCQ or MGCQ. Metro Manila, the epicenter of the contagion and the country’s economic center, is under GCQ until June 30.
To date, there are 30,682 COVID-19 cases nationwide, including 8,143 recoveries and 1,177 deaths.
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