Metro Manila ready for GCQ anew after August 18–Lorenzana
MANILA, Philippines — Metro Manila is ready to return to general community quarantine (GCQ) status once the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) lapses on August 18, Defense Secretary and National Task Force against COVID-19 chairman Delfin Lorenzana said Monday.
“Yes, I think the trend is going down. Yesterday mga 3,000 na lang ‘yung bagong kaso, down from 6,000 previously,” he said in an interview on ABS-CBN News Channel.
“I think we are ready to go down. We cannot continue with the MECQ kasi alam na natin kung nasaan ang mga areas na may infection. ‘Yun ang tututukan natin, so that the others can also go to work,” he also said.
(We will focus on known areas with many cases, so that the others can also go to work.)
The quarantine status in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite and Laguna was earlier reverted to MECQ from August 4 to 18 following the appeal of the medical community for a “timeout” amid the rising cases of COVID-19 under relaxed quarantine protocols.
Lorenzana said that under the second phase of the national action plan to combat COVID-19, the government will no longer place cities or municipalities under lockdown but instead identify and zero in on specific hotspots, such as barangays and streets.
“Basta ‘yung hindi apektado masyado, they can already go out and do their jobs. So ‘yun ang ating plano ngayon,” he explained.
(Residents in areas that are not too much affected can already go out and work. That’s our plan now.)
Lorenzana said the task force is also going around the areas placed under MECQ to ask local officials about the surging number of COVID-19 cases in their jurisdictions.
In Laguna, for example, he said the task force found out that some businesses do not impose physical distancing and other health protocols on their employees who gather at canteens and smoking areas.
“These workers get infected and go home kaya ang daming mga bahay doon na practically the whole family had been infected because of this,” he added.
(These workers get infected and go home, that’s why there are residences where the whole family is infected.)
The country has already recorded a total of 129,913 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with additional 3,109 cases reported on Sunday.
Of the confirmed cases, 59,970 are active cases, 67,673 are recoveries, and 2,270 are deaths.
Most of the newly-reported cases came from Metro Manila (1,700 cases), followed by Laguna (169), Cebu province (114), Rizal (98), and Cavite (93), according to the Department of Health.
Based on the DOH’s COVID-19 tracker, Metro Manila alone has already recorded a total of 71,145 confirmed COVID-19 cases (34,821 active cases, 35,231 recoveries, and 1,093 deaths).
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