No economic lockdown for now in Metro Manila, 4 provinces under GCQ -- Roque | Inquirer News
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No economic lockdown for now in Metro Manila, 4 provinces under GCQ — Roque

/ 05:50 PM March 21, 2021

(FILE) A group of jeepney drivers who have not operated since the lockdown has turned into vegetable vendors, selling fresh produce given by a private donor so they could sell them and turn them into a profit while some still beg for money and food along Laong Laan St., in Manila on September 18, 2020. INQUIRER/ MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque has assured the public that despite the continuation of the general community quarantine (GCQ) in Metro Manila — and its reimposition in four nearby provinces — there will be no hard economic lockdown.

Roque said on Sunday that no economic lockdown will happen as establishments will remain open unlike under an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and a modified ECQ (MECQ) where only a limited number of businesses are allowed to operate.

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According to the Cabinet official, the additional restrictions to the GCQ classification only target venues where COVID-19 transmission is highly possible.

Earlier, Roque announced that Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal will all be under GCQ from March 22 to April 4.

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“Well ito po ay GCQ na may mga karagdagan na mga restrictions.  At ito po ay nakatutok sa mga gawain na alam natin na magkakalat ng virus.  Kaya nga po ang emphasis natin pagbabawal ng mass gathering, pagbabawal ng indoor dining na alam nating na ‘pag tayo’y kumain kakailanganing tanggalin ang mask, at dyan po talaga nagkakahawahan,” Roque said in his briefing.

“Pero at the same time po hindi po tayo nag-economic lockdown dahil bukas pa rin po ang mga industriya bagamat ine-encourage nga natin ‘yong work from home kung pe-pwede, at pinapa-igting natin ‘yong minimum health standards sa mga lugar na hindi pu-pwedeng mag-work from home,” he added.

At the start of his briefing, Roque also dismissed as fake reports of a possible MECQ in Metro Manila or a so-called “circuit breaker” approach. He said a strict lockdown will not be implemented.

“Wala po tayong lockdown, fake news po ‘yong sinasabi na magkakaroon daw tayo ng circuit breaker, hindi po totoo ‘yan, ang Metro Manila po ay mananatili under GCQ, kasama po ang mga probinsya ng Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, at Rizal,” he explained.

“Ito na po ‘yong naging rekomendasyon ng IATF, at inaprubahan na po ng Presidente,” he added later on.

Of the five areas mentioned, only Metro Manila was under GCQ prior to the announcement, while the rest were under a modified GCQ (MGCQ).  However, despite being under GCQ, several restrictions that are enforced under ECQ or MECQ — barring of non-essential travel, a ban on indoor dining and mass gatherings — will be implemented in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, and Rizal.

The country is currently experiencing a surge of COVID-19 cases, attributed to more infectious new variants of concern.  As of Sunday, the country has 73,072 active COVID-19 cases after the Department of Health (DOH) recorded 7,757 new cases.

Sunday marks the third consecutive day that the country registered over 7,000 new COVID-19 cases, as it previously recorded 7,103 and 7,999 on Friday and Saturday.

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TAGS: 2019 Novel Coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, COVID-19, COVID-19 pandemic, COVID-19 surge, ECQ, enhanced community quarantine, GCQ, general community quarantine, nCoV update, Philippine news updates, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque
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