MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to announce fresh community quarantine classifications on Monday, Aug. 17, a day before the strict lockdown in Metro Manila and nearby provinces expires, Malacañang said Thursday.
Until Aug. 18, the capital region and neighboring provinces Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal will remain under modified enhanced community quarantine after health workers appealed for a "time out" due to the surge in COVID-19 infections.
"Inaasahan po natin na magmemensahe sa taumbayan muli ang ating Presidente sa Aug. 17 kung saan iaanunsyo din niya 'yung bagong classifications," Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.
(We expect the President to address the public anew on Aug. 17 and announce new quarantine classifications as well.)
The Palace mouthpiece earlier said that it was "highly unlikely" for the government to keep Metro Manila and neighboring economic hubs under MECQ due to depleted resources to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.
Roque said the government's pandemic task force is already reviewing the recommendations for the quarantine classification for the rest of the Philippines, which would expire on Saturday, Aug. 15.
Aside from Metro Manila and the 4 surrounding provinces, the rest of the country was divided into general community quarantine and modified general community quarantine areas.
As of Wednesday, the Philippines has recorded 143,749 confirmed COVID-19 cases, of which 72,348 are active.
The number of active cases is higher than the combined tally of 68,997 recoveries and 2,404 fatalities.