METRO Manila, the epicenter of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic in the country will now be placed under a general community quarantine (GCQ) from June 1 to June 15, President Rodrigo Duterte announced on Thursday.
Duterte said the National Capital Region (NCR), Davao City, Regions 2, 3 and 4A, Pangasinan, and Albay would be placed under GCQ “until we have reviewed the general situation.”
“We are not happy to put you in this place but after review maybe we can,” Duterte said in his public address aired over state-run PTV4.
The President said the rest of the country would, meanwhile, shift to a modified GCQ, which was one step closer to the “new normal.”
“In other areas, it will be, again, on a piecemeal basis depending on the viability of the place to meet the challenges of Covid,” he added.
The NCR will transition from the modified enhanced community quarantine to GCQ by June 1 following the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
This is similar to the recommendation of all 17 Metro Manila mayors to to ease quarantine restrictions in the capital region to allow more nonessential businesses to reopen in the hopes of restarting the economy and helping workers amid the Covid-19 crisis.
Under GCQ, mass transportation will be allowed on a limited capacity. The metro’s train systems will also be allowed to run as well as shuttles of private companies, transport network vehicle services, and point-to-point buses.
Meanwhile, residents of GCQ areas will be allowed to go out of their residence except for those aged below 21 and those 60 and older to limit infections. Mass gathering activities remain prohibited.
The proposal came even as the Department of Health reported a sudden spike in new cases.
As of Thursday, the country reported 15,588 confirmed Covid-19. Recoveries have reached 3,598, while 921 have died of the disease.