MANILA - A member of an inter-agency task force on the coronavirus pandemic said Thursday it urged President Rodrigo Duterte to downgrade the lockdown of 12 million people in Metro Manila to a general community quarantine or GCQ.
The region is under modified enhanced community quarantine until May 31, which allows select industries to operate by up to 50-percent capacity. GCQ will reboot the economy by allowing almost all industries to operate up to 75 percent of their capacity.
"Sa tingin ko magdedesisyon ang ating Pangulo mamayang gabi," said Interior Secretary Eduado Año.
"Ito (rekomendasyon) ay ang paglilipat ng mga lugar na from GCQ ay magiging modfied GCQ at iba namang modified ECQ ay mapupunta na sa GCQ lalong-lalo na ang Metro Manila," he said.
(I think the President will decide tonight. The recommendation is to move areas from GCQ to modified GCQ. Others that are under modified ECQ will shift to GCQ, especially Metro Manila.)
Under the general quarantine, "high-risk" barangays that will log more than 2 new cases of COVID-19 in a 7-day monitoring will be deemed "critical zones," said Interior Secretary Eduado Año.
Entry and exit will be barred in these areas, where patients will be isolated and their close contacts will be tested for the coronavirus, he told TeleRadyo.
Essential and clothing stores in malls will be opened, while leisure and dine-in restaurant services are still barred, he said.
The GCQ will also allow the MRT, LRT, taxis and tricycles with one passengers, said the Secretary.
Under modified GCQ, Año said barbershops, fitness gyms, dine-in services and religious gatherings would be allowed at 50-percent capacity and with physical distancing protocols.
Authorities are still discussing guidelines for theaters and cinemas, he said.
Domestic flights will be allowed in certain airports.
"Marami talagang pagbabago na mangyayari dahil ito na ang kakaharapin natin habang wala pang bakuna, dapat ay nag-iingat tayong lahat," Año said.
(There will be many changes because until there is no vaccine, we all need to be careful.)