Metro Manila stays under GCQ; Cebu City downgraded to MECQ

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 15 2020 11:45 PM | Updated as of Jul 16 2020 06:29 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte meeting with IATF on July 15, 2020. Handout photo

MANILA (2nd UPDATE) - The Philippine government on Wednesday extended the general community quarantine in Metro Manila anew while downgraded the lockdown rule in Cebu City to modified enhanced community quarantine.

The new community quarantine classifications will take effect on Thursday, July 16, until July 31.

Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ)

• Cebu City

General Community Quarantine (GCQ)

• Metro Manila

- Calabarzon

  • Laguna
  • Cavite
  • Rizal

- Central Visayas

  • Lapu Lapu City
  • Mandaue City
  • Talisay City
  • Minglanilla
  • Consolacion

- Eastern Visayas

  • Ormoc City
  • Southern Leyte

- Zamboanga Peninsula

  • Zamboanga City

- Caraga

  • Butuan City
  • Agusan del Norte

- BARMM

  • Basilan

Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ)

MEDIUM RISK

- Cordillera Administrative Region

  • Benguet
  • Baguio City

- Ilocos Region

  • Ilocos Sur
  • Pangasinan
  • Ilocos Norte
  • La Union
  • Dagupan City

- Cagayan Valley

  • Cagayan
  • Isabela
  • Nueva Vizcaya

- Central Luzon

  • Bataan
  • Nueva Ecija
  • Pampanga
  • Bulacan
  • Tarlac
  • Zambales
  • Angeles City

- Calabarzon

  • Batangas
  • Quezon
  • Lucena City

- Mimaropa

  • Oriental Mindoro
  • Occidental Mindoro
  • Puerto Princesa City

- Bicol Region

  • Albay
  • Masbate
  • Camarines Norte
  • Camarines Sur
  • Catanduanes
  • Sorsogon
  • Naga City

- Western Visayas

  • Iloilo
  • Negros Occidental
  • Capiz
  • Antique
  • Aklan
  • Guimaras
  • Iloilo City
  • Bacolod City

- Central Visayas

  • Negros Oriental
  • Bohol
  • Cebu Province

- Eastern Visayas

  • Western Samar
  • Leyte
  • Biliran
  • Tacloban City

- Zamboanga Peninsula

  • Zamboanga del Sur
  • Zamboanga Sibugay
  • Zamboanga del Norte

- Northern Mindanao

  • Misamis Occidental
  • Bukidnon
  • Lanao del Norte
  • Cagayan de Oro City
  • Iligan City

- Davao Region

  • Davao Oriental
  • Davao del Norte
  • Davao del Sur
  • Davao de Oro
  • Davao City

- Soccsksargen

  • Sultan Kudarat
  • Cotabato
  • South Cotabato
  • General Santos City

- BARMM

  • Lanao del Sur
  • Maguindanao

As of July 15, the Philippines has confirmed 58,850 COVID-19 infections, of which 36,260 are active cases. The tally also includes 1,614 deaths and 20,976 recoveries.

The country first imposed quarantine measures in mid-March to curtail the spread of the novel coronavirus. It recorded its first case of COVID-19 on Jan. 30 from a Chinese woman who arrived from Wuhan City in China's Hubei province where the virus was first detected.

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BACK TO MECQ?

In a streamed public briefing, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said President Rodrigo Duterte earlier agreed to place Metro Manila under MECQ following recommendation of health experts due to rising COVID-19 cases.

However, government officials appealed to the President to extend the Philippine capital's lockdown rule to GCQ after mayors promised to strengthen localized lockdowns and intensify testing, tracing and treatment of COVID-19 patients, he added.

"Pumayag ang Presidente na huwag munang ibalik ang Metro Manila sa MECQ sa susunod na 2 linggo," Roque said.

Metro Manila, home to roughly a tenth of the Philippines' 100 million population, accounts for a third of the country's gross domestic product.

However, Roque warned authorities could place Metro Manila to MECQ if transmission of the virus would not slow down.

"Malinaw po sa diskusyon na kapag hindi napagabal ang pagkalat ng COVID sa Metro Manila posibleng bumalik sa MECQ pagkatapos nitong 2 linggo," he said.

UP professor Ranjit Singh Rye, who is part of the UP OCTA Research group, presented to the President's Cabinet 2 option in fighting the virus.

He said Metro Manila could remain under GCQ as long as authorities would scale up testing, tracing, isolation and treatment of COVID-19 cases.

"We feel the impact is it will take longer to control it but we will be able to control it," he said.

The UP OCTA Research group earlier said COVID-19 cases in the Philippines may surpass the 100,000-mark by end of August.

The group urged the government to further tighten border controls, ramp up coronavirus screening and bring those who test positive for the virus to isolation facilities instead of going on home quarantine.

- With reports from Arianne Merez and Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News