It’s GCQ but don’t be lax, PNP chief Eleazar tells public
MANILA, Philippines — The police force’s head, General Guillermo Eleazar, has this message to people who might misinterpret the relaxing of quarantine restrictions: Even if protocols change, the COVID-19 pandemic is never going away.
In a video released by the Philippine National Police (PNP) Friday, Eleazar echoed President Duterte’s warning against people celebrating festivities – whether religious or not – as Metro Manila and the surrounding provinces move to a general community quarantine (GCQ) status.
“In downgrading the community quarantine status in NCR plus we would like to appeal — again, to the sense of maturity of our kababayans — that is to strictly observe the minimum safety protocols for their safety, and the safety of their family,” Eleazar said.
“Tandaan natin na hindi alam ng COVID ang pagkakaiba ng ECQ, MECQ, GCQ, pati na rin itong GCQ with heightened restriction, pati na rin syempre, itong MGCQ. Ang alam lang ng COVID, ay kapag nagdikit-dikit tayo at nagpabaya tayo, yari tayo,” he added.
(Bear in mind that ECQ, MECQ, GCQ are nothing compared to COVID-19, and even this GCQ with heightened restrictions, and also this MGCQ. What COVID-19 knows is that if we go to crowded areas and we are careless, we are doomed.)
On Thursday, Duterte announced that Metro Manila and other components of the bubble namely Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal would move to a general community quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions.
This was after the bubble was placed on stricter quarantine protocols — an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and eventually a modified ECQ (MECQ) — due to the surge of COVID-19 cases. The new quarantine classification came after the area recorded a gradual decrease in active COVID-19 infections.
According to Eleazar, as long as the COVID-19 pandemic poses a risk to public safety, the country’s situation would not return to normal — thus, normal leisurely activities such as partying and big celebrations should be forgone, similar to what Duterte said.
“Hindi normal ngayon ang panahon dahil sa COVID, kaya ‘wag nating ibalik sa normal ang inuman, videoke, sayawan, at magarbong handaan. Dahil kapag hindi tayo nag-ingat, malamang pati COVID, imbitado ninyo sa piyestahan sa inyo,” Eleazar explained.
(The situation today is not normal because of COVID-19, that’s why we should not do normal activities like drinking, doing videoke, dances, and big celebrations. Because if we are not careful, it’s likely that COVID-19 is also invited to your festivities.)
“At sa mga naki-piyesta, malamang hindi lang mga pagkain sa plastic at styro ang madala niyo, baka pati COVID tangay-tangay ninyo,” he warned.
(And for those joining the fiestas, maybe you won’t only get take out food on plastics or styrofoam, but also COVID-19 as well.)
Duterte during his late-night briefing on Thursday reminded religious denominations and their followers to forego all the feasts that are set to be celebrated — especially this month of May, for the Roman Catholic church — to avoid COVID-19 transmissions.
The Chief Executive stressed that people should keep in mind that the pandemic is still raging, adding that God would understand if people postpone feasts
“Forego to congregate, to crowd, and to hold. Eh walang problema, alam ng Diyos na love natin siya pero ang problema, the necessary consequences of it all. Be mindful of that because we are still in the pandemic, and there is no way of knowing how long this would last [on] this planet,” the Chief Executive explained.
On Friday, the country’s active COVID-19 case count rose again to 58,986 due to 6,784 new infections. But while this is the second straight day where active infections increased, this is still far from the numbers back in April, where the country saw over 10,000 cases per day.
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