Baguio City excluded from new classification
MANILA — The inter-agency task force leading the country's COVID-19 response placed the northern provinces of Cagayan, Apayao, and Benguet back under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) for 2 weeks, effective Monday.
The 3 provinces will revert to the second strictest lockdown level in the country until May 23, the IATF said in a resolution. Baguio City, which is under general community quarantine, is not covered by the new classification, according to Presidential Communications officer.
This is in line with the recommendation of a screening and validation committee, said the task force.
"The risk-level classifications of the aforementioned provinces shall be without prejudice to their reclassification as may be warranted and the declaration of localized Enhanced Community Quarantine in critical areas," reads the resolution.
Areas currently under MECQ until May 14 include Metro Manila and surrounding Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal–home to about 24 million people. The capital region accounts for about a third of the country's gross domestic product.
As of Sunday, Apayao has 85 active COVID-19 cases or 8.7 percent of its cumulative total; Benguet has 529, out of its 7,973 total; and, Cagayan has 1,893 active cases.
The reimposition of strict lockdowns has raised concerns the economy will take longer to recover from last year's worst slump on record.
The Philippines' total COVID-19 cases climbed to 1,101,990 on Sunday, of which, 61,294 are active infections.
– With a report from Reuters