Metro Manila goes down to GCQ from Wed, to pilot granular lockdown shift

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 06 2021 01:16 PM | Updated as of Sep 06 2021 02:35 PM

10 other areas to be under MECQ

Commuters queue to ride the MRT-3 from the North Avenue station in Quezon City on August 31, 2021, a day after the country recorded the highest number of COVID-19 cases in a single-day tally at 22,366. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News
Commuters queue to ride the MRT-3 from the North Avenue station in Quezon City on August 31, 2021, a day after the country recorded the highest number of COVID-19 cases in a single-day tally at 22,366. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — Metro Manila will go down to general community quarantine (GCQ), the Philippines' second-loosest lockdown level, from Sept. 8 until the end of the month, while 10 other areas in the country will be under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) during the same period, Malacañang said on Monday.

The new lockdown classifications were announced by Palace spokesman Harry Roque even as the entire National Capital Region, except for the city of Manila, has been placed under the highest alert level for coronavirus due to increase in new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

"Magkakaroon po ng pilot dito sa Metro Manila at ito po 'yong tinatawag nating localized lockdowns," Roque said of planned measures to be adopted during the GCQ imposition.

(There will be a pilot here in Metro Manila, and this is what we call localized lockdowns.)

The government earlier said agencies have agreed to replace region- or province-wide quarantine restrictions with localized lockdowns, that may be limited to certain houses, streets, or villages. 

Authorized persons outside their residence (APORs) will be allowed to leave areas under granular lockdown, but will not be permitted to return while restrictions are in effect, Roque said.

"It will be literally a complete lockdown ‘pag ikaw ay (if you are) subject to granular lockdown," he said. 

The national and local governments will provide food aid to residents under granular lockdowns, added the official.

The inter-agency task force on COVID-19 will release other granular lockdown guidelines that considered inputs from mayors later Monday or on Tuesday, Roque said. 

"Titingnan po natin kung talagang mas epektibo nga itong mga pinaigting nating localized, granular lockdowns. If it proves to be more successful… we will implement it," he said. 

(We will look at whether or not these intensified localized, granular lockdowns will be more effective.)

Metro Manila, home to around 13.5 million people, was previously under the strictest lockdown, enhanced community quarantine, from Aug. 6 to 20, weeks after the detection of the more transmissible COVID-19 Delta variant.

Its lockdown later went down a notch to MECQ from Aug. 21 to Sept. 7. 

The following quarantine levels for certain areas from Sept. 8 to 30 were approved by the COVID-19 task force, Roque said:

MECQ 

- Apayao
- Bataan
- Bulacan
- Cavite
- Lucena City
- Laguna
- Rizal
- Iloilo province
- Iloilo City
- Cagayan De Oro City


GCQ w/ heightened restrictions 

- Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte
- Cagayan
- Pangasinan
- Quezon, Batangas
- Naga City
- Antique, Bacolod City, Capiz 
- Cebu province, Lapu-Lapu City, Negros Oriental 
- Zamboanga Del Sur 
- Misamis Oriental
- Davao City, Davao Del Norte, Davao De Oro, Davao Occidental
- Butuan City 

 

GCQ

- Metro Manila
- Baguio City, Kalinga, Abra, Benguet
- Dagupan City
- Santiago City, Quirino, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya
- Tarlac
- Occidental Mindoro, Puerto Princesa
- Aklan, Guimaras, Negros Occidental
- Cebu City, Mandaue City
- Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga City, Zamboanga Del Norte
- Misamis Occidental, Iligan City 
- Davao Oriental, Davao Del Sur 
- General Santos City, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato, South Cotabato
- Agusan Del Norte, Agusan Del Sur, Dinagat islands, Surigao Del Norte, Surigao Del Sur
- Cotabato City, Lanao Del Sur 
 
The rest of the country will be under the least stringent modified GCQ, Roque said. 

The Philippine breached 2-million total coronavirus cases last week. Authorities are scrambling to curb a recent spike in infections linked to the highly contagious Delta COVID-19 variant.

The entire Metro Manila, except Manila City, is under the highest Alert Level 4 because hospital bed capacity is already more than 70 percent, and the area is under moderate to critical risk for COVID-19, the Department of Health said.

Video courtesy of PTV