MANILA - Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Saturday a decision on whether or not the period of the lockdown in areas at high risk for COVID-19, including Metro Manila, may be decided by Monday, as the government continues to study the implications of a more relaxed quarantine in some cities.
This as the enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, is set to end on May 15.
Metrics on the capacity of local government units to provide critical care will be considered as the government makes its decision on Metro Manila, Roque said in the Laging Handa briefing, Saturday. The capital region is believed to be the epicenter of the virus in the Philippines.
The coronavirus task force will meet on Monday and is poised to submit their recommendations on cities which will be recommended for lockdown extension or downgrade, adding that they do not have a final recommendation for the capital region's post-May 15 lockdown status.
For now, Roque said they are eyeing a "granular and surgical" transition to a general community quarantine in Metro Manila, saying not all lockdowns in areas in the capital region may be relaxed nor extended.
"Hindi po Metro Manila ay magiging GCQ, at hindi po lahat ng Metro Manila ay mananatili sa ECQ. 'Yan po ay ibabase natin sa siyensiya, titingnan natin ang dami ng kaso ng COVID sa siyudad, barangay at titingnan natin ang kapasidad na magbigay ng critical care," Roque said.
(Metro Manila won't be under GCQ, and not all of Metro Manila will remain under ECQ. That will be based on science, we will look at the number of COVID cases in cities, barangays and look at the [local government's] capacity to give critical care.)
He added: "Hindi po mananatili sa ECQ ang buong Metro Manila on May 16 at hindi naman po ilalagay sa GCQ ang Metro Manila after May 16. it will be granular, it will be surgical."
(The whole of Metro Manila won't be under ECQ on May 16 and not all of Metro Manila will be under GCQ after May 16. It will be granular, it will be surgical.)
The lockdown on Metro Manila and other areas considered "high risk" for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is expected to last until May 15.
Other areas still under lockdown for 5 more days are:
- Region 3 except Aurora Province
- Benguet Province
- Pangasinan Province
- Iloilo Province
- Cebu Province
- Bacolod City
- Davao City
- Zamboanga City
But just this week, government floated the idea of lifting the lockdown in certain Metro Manila cities showing declining coronavirus cases in recent days.
The Metro Manila Council, consisting of all Metro Manila mayors, is expected to meet Saturday afternoon to discuss whether or not they want a lockdown extension in the capital region.