Palace: Metro Manila MGCQ in Nov 'not an impossibility'

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 01 2020 02:43 PM

Traders work on the trading floor of the Philippine Stock Exchange amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Taguig City, Sept. 30, 2020. Eloisa Lopez, Reuters

MANILA -- Downgrading the coronavirus lockdown of Metro Manila to the least stringent of 4 levels by next month "is not an impossibility," Malacañang said Thursday, as authorities sought to revive the economy that the pandemic dragged into recession

A council of Metro Manila mayors earlier floated the idea of placing the region under MGCQ or modified general community quarantine in November if coronavirus infections continued to go down. 

"It is not an impossibility dahil talaga naman pong napababa natin [ang mga kaso ng COVID-19]," Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said in a press briefing. 

"Pero nasa mga kababayan pa rin natin iyan sa Metro Manila. Alam na po natin ang dapat gawin: mask, hugas, iwas," he added. 

(It is not an impossibility because we have reduced the cases. But that is still up tp our compatriots in Metro Manila. We know what to do: wear our masks, wash hands, and avoid transmission.)

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

MGCQ will allow 75 percent of the economy to reopen. 

A "clustering" of coronavirus cases and the high occupancy rate of hospital beds earlier prevented authorities from placing Metro Manila under this lockdown level, the Department of Health said Tuesday.