Virus quarantines may be reclassified by June 16: Palace

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 08 2020 03:40 PM | Updated as of Jun 08 2020 04:55 PM

A cyclist takes the P2P bus with her bike, after being allowed by the driver, at the North Avenue MRT Bus station in Quezon City on Tuesday. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA -- The Philippines will revise virus quarantines on June 16, which will determine how much of the economy will be opened up, Malacanang said Monday.

The restrictions were last eased on June 1, when Metro Manila was placed under GCQ or general community quarantine after 11 weeks on ECQ or enhanced community quarantine. The quarantine classifications at the start of the month will expire on June 15.

Metro Manila will need a "closer" examination if the prevailing general community quarantine can be downgraded given that it is the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said.

"I would say that it is a safe conclusion na magkakaroon na naman po ng reclassification except iba po talaga ang Metro Manila," Roque said.

(I would say that it is a safe conclusion that there will be a reclassification again but Metro Manila is really different.)

"I think Metro Manila will have to be examined closer kung mag MGCQ siya next week. I cannot conclude because the data of Metro Manila is different," he added.

The government employs a 4-tier community quarantine ranging from the strictest ECQ to the most relaxed MGCQ.

The MGCQ is the transition point to the "new normal" where "emerging behaviors, situations, and minimum public health standards" are "institutionalized in common or routine practices" while the COVID-19 is not yet totally eradicated.

Except for Metro Manila, Pangasinan province, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Central Visayas, Davao City, and Zamboanga City, which are under GCQ, all areas in the country are under the more relaxed MGCQ until June 15.

While lifting of the community quarantine protocols should come after the MGCQ, Roque said the government would base its decision on the COVID-19 data of each area.

"Ang tanong nga po is will the data support the evolution into new normal? Titingnan lang po natin ang datos," he said.

(The question is will the data support the evolution into the new normal? We will check the data.)

As of June 7, the Philippines has 21, 895 confirmed COVID-19 cases. This includes 1,003 deaths and 4,530 recoveries.