Duterte places Metro Manila, Cebu City under GCQ; most parts of Philippines under MGCQ
By Celerina Monte
President Rodrigo Duterte is placing Cebu City, similar to Metro Manila and a few other places in the country, under the general community quarantine starting August 1 to arrest the spread of coronavirus disease.
In a taped televised message aired on Friday morning, Duterte said the rest of the country will be under modified general community quarantine.
The decision was reached during a meeting on Thursday night in Malacañang with the members of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
From July 16 to July 31, Cebu City has been under the modified enhanced community quarantine, a more restrictive quarantine classification due to high cases of COVID-19.
Aside from Metro Manila and Cebu City, to be placed under GCQ from August 1 until August 15 are Bulacan in Region III (Central Luzon); Batangas, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal, all in Region IV-A (Calabarzon); Lapu-Lapu City and Mandaue City in Region VII (Central Visayas); Zamboanga City; and Talisay City and the municipalities of Minglanilla and Consolacion in Cebu province.
Duterte said the "many (COVID-19) infections" has prompted the government to place those areas under GCQ.
"The rest of the Philippines, modified general community quarantine," he added.
Citing IATF Resolution No. 60-A, for the National Capital Region and Region 4-A to maintain their GCQ classification, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the National Task Force, the Department of Interior and Local Government, and the Coordinated Operations Defeat Epidemic Teams will implement in areas with high community transmission a strictly localized lockdown or enhanced community quarantine in barangays where 80 percent of cases are located and the publication of these barangays.
Also part of the measures are stringent enforcement of minimum health standards; massive targeted testing, intensified tracing, and quarantine of close contacts; isolation of confirmed cases; and strict adherence to Oplan Kalinga implementation, he said.
Roque said the IATF also directed the government hospitals in Metro Manila and Calabarzon to increase their hospital beds dedicated to COVID-19 up to 30-50 percent while private hospitals are enjoined to increase their hospital beds dedicated to COVID-19 up to 20-30 percent.
Roque said Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega, also the NTF Treatment czar, is directed to monitor the compliance of hospitals in these areas and to the One Hospital Command System in NCR, Region III or Central Luzon, and Region IV-A.
"The local government units 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," he said.
"Included metrices to be submitted by LGUs are percent of close contacts traced and percent of contacts in quarantine; number of utilization of community isolation beds; met health system capacity targets utilization; and COVID Special Teams investigations and results," he added.
As of July 30, COVID-19 cases in the Philippines surged to 89,374 with 65,064 recoveries and 1,983 deaths. DMS