MANILA - The government might keep Metro Manila under general community quarantine until the end of the month if COVID-19 infections in the capital continue to rise, Malacañang said Tuesday.
Quarantine restrictions in the capital region can also be tightened by the government's inter-agency task force (IATF) on COVID-19 depending on the case doubling rate and healthcare capacity, Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said.
"Lahat ng desisyon ng IATF, whether or not to graduate to the next regime, in the case of Metro Manila to MGCQ (modified general community quarantine), is always dependent on data," Roque said in a Palace press briefing.
(All decisions of the IATF, whether or not to graduate to the next regime, in the case of Metro Manila to MGCQ, is always dependent on data.)
Metro Manila, the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the Philippines, recorded 114 "fresh" infections on Monday, the Department of Health said. "Fresh" cases refer to those validated within the past 3 days.
The region meanwhile had 106 "late" cases, or test results validated 4 days ago or more.
If Metro Manila continues to see a rise in infections, Roque, who also acts as the IATF spokesman, said further easing of restrictions might be unlikely.
"Kapag ganyan pong tumataas, well, syempre po, may posibilidad po na hindi po tayo mag-graduate sa next phase," he said.
(If it continues to increase, well, of course, there's a possibility that we won't graduate to the next phase.)
"If the trend continues, either magpapatuloy siguro ang GCQ or baka babalik sa modified ECQ. All classifications are flexible depending on the data," he added.
(If the trend continues, either we continue on under GCQ or we could go back to modified ECQ.)
President Rodrigo Duterte is set to meet with the IATF in his hometown Davao City on Thursday to decide on fresh quarantine protocols for the June 16-30 period.
The country's tally of coronavirus infections reached 22,474 on Monday, of which, 1,011 led to deaths while 4,637 recovered.