MANILA— Metro Manila will remain under general community quarantine with heightened restrictions in August, even as city mayors sought stricter quarantine measures to stem the increasing number of COVID-19 cases brought about by the Delta variant.
The IATF placed Metro Manila and the nearby provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal and Laguna under general community quarantine with heightened restrictions from August 1 to 15.
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Benhur Abalos earlier said Metro Manila mayors agreed to request the National Task Force Against COVID-19 for the imposition of stricter quarantine measures in the capital region, as well as, for at least 4 million vaccine doses to protect the population.
"After heeding the advice of health experts and assessment of the 17 Metro Manila mayors, it was agreed to strictly enforce the PDITR, and request at least 4 million vaccines to protect the NCR population against the possible spread of the dangerous Delta variant of COVID-19," Abalos said.
"Imposition of stricter quarantine measures will be requested by the Metro Manila mayors to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF)."
Abalos also said NCR mayors were willing to have the region placed under enhance community quarantine (ECQ), the strictest quarantine classification, for 2 weeks, provided that the national government has available funds for the Social Amelioration Program (SAP).
"Needless to say, SAP is important to address the concerns of underprivileged families as they will be the ones who will be greatly affected by the ECQ declaration," he said.
Metro Manila mayors also requested the national government to open vaccination to the public without classification.
"Aggressive contact-tracing, massive testing, and strict isolation would then be ramped up to further reduce COVID 19 cases in Metro Manila while waiting for the requested 4 million vaccines from the national government to achieve population protection as early as possible and prevent exponential growth of positive cases from Delta variant," Abalos said
"We appeal to the public to avoid complacency and still follow the standard health protocols. Let us not put our guards down."
The Department of Health assured that there is no surge in COVID-19 cases in the National Capital Region yet, but said it is monitoring the increase in new cases in some areas.
Governors and mayors were earlier informed of the quarantine classifications for August, and they have until this Wednesday to appeal, IATF co-chairperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.