Duterte extends GCQ in Metro Manila to August 15

Despite the continued spike in coronavirus cases in the capital region, Metro Manila will remain under general community quarantine (GCQ) from August 1 to 15, President Rodrigo Duterte announced in a taped speech aired Friday morning, July 31.

The President said Cebu City has also been eased to GCQ, after two weeks of modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).

Apart from Metro Manila and Cebu City, the other areas under GCQ are Bulacan, Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal in Luzon; Lapu-Lapu City, Mandaue City, Talisay City, Minglanilla, and Consolacion – all in Cebu – in the Visayas; and Zamboanga City for Mindanao.

The rest of the country is under modified GCQ or MGCQ.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said there are "conditions" for GCQ areas, such as continuing strict localized lockdowns, wherein hotspot areas can be placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

Roque said wearing a face shield over a face mask is now also part of the minimum health standard.

"Magkakaroon po tayo ng stringent enforcement of minimum health standards. Ito po 'yung hugas kamay, suot ng mask, social distancing, at pagsuot na rin po ng face shield. Apat na po ngayon ang ating minimum health standard," said Roque.

(We would have a stringent enforcement of minimum health standards. These are the washing of hands, wearing of face mask, social distancing and now even wearing of face shield. There are now 4 minimum health standards.)

Roque added that Oplan Kalinga will be strictly enforced, meaning positive patients who do not have their own rooms and bathrooms will have to be compelled to admit themselves to a government isolation facility.

Massive targeted testing, and intensified tracing will also be implemented, said Roque. 

"Finally, the local government units (LGUs) are directed to submit daily updates and weekly comprehensive reports containing daily trend of active cases, number and percent of population; cases in community isolation facility vs health facility vs home for priority areas or barangays under localized lockdown," said Roque.

The government has reopened gyms and drive-in cinemas in an effort to boost the economy.

In the same televised briefing, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said the "economy is picking up," and that the government is ready to give Department of Health (DOH) roughly a P20 billion budget for when vaccines are available for purchase. 

On Thursday, July 30, the Philippines reported a record-high single day increase of 3,954 cases, bringing the total number to 89,374.

Metro Manila had 1,703 new cases on Thursday – the highest number among areas – followed by Cebu province at 958. – Rappler.com

Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email lian.buan@rappler.com or tweet @lianbuan.

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