Palace: Nationwide GCQ possible by August 2020

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Malacañang announced on Thursday the possibility that the entire country might be placed under general community quarantine (GCQ) by August.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said it is likely to impose GCQ nationwide by August, as long as Filipinos adhere to the national government’s quarantine protocols that have been enforced to slow down the transmission of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

“Pero sa ngayon po (For now), for purposes of planning, we’re assuming that with (the) cooperation of everyone, pupwede na po na buong Pilipinas ay mag-GCQ (it is possible that the entire Philippines may be under GCQ) by August,” Roque said in a virtual press briefing.

This statement was said by the spokesperson to assure the public that the Philippines remains in the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, contradicting Health Secretary Francisco Duque’s recent announcement that the country is now facing the second wave of the virus.

“We’re hoping that by August 24, which is the mandated day para mag-simula ang mga public school, ay nasa GCQ na po ang buong Pilipinas,” Roque said.

[We’re hoping that by August 24, which is the mandated day for public schools to resume classes, the entire Philippines would already be under GCQ.]

Roque also said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), a body that makes recommendations to President Rodrigo Duterte on measures related to the nationwide community quarantine, is scheduled to meet on Friday.

Roque assured the public that the government would decide on the next necessary measures, should the task force decide not to impose GCQ in the entire country by August.

The IATF-EID has a remaining 10 days to decide on the fate of the ECQ, MECQ, and GCQ nationwide, subject to Duterte’s approval.