Metro Manila may be placed under GCQ by June 1, Defense Secretary says

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Image source: Bloomberg

Metro Manila may shift to general community quarantine (GCQ) as early as June 1, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Saturday.

“More likely mag-gi-GCQ na tayo by June 1,” he told reporters at an event in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

[We are more likely to be under GCQ by June 1.]

Lorenzana said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases is already discussing the situation of Metro Manila and if it is prepared for the easing of quarantine restrictions. However, areas with COVID-19 cases may remain under their control.

Ang pinag-uusapan naming sa IATF, e mag-GCQ pero ‘yung mga areas na meron pa ring… mga infection baka ‘yun na lang ang ikontrol ng konti,” he explained.

[What we are discussing in the IATF is to move to GCQ but we may have to take control areas that still have infections.]

Currently under GCQ are areas where COVID-19 infections are considered to be “low-risk”, where residents below 21 years old, individuals 60 years old and above, pregnant women and people with health risks such as immunodeficiency conditions, are not allowed to leave home, unless their circumstance requires them to head out to get essential goods and services.

More businesses are also allowed to reopen at greater capacity under GCQ.

Metro Manila, along with Laguna, Bataan, Bulacan and other provinces, are currently under modified enhanced community quarantine, where certain industries such as construction and food manufacturing are allowed to resume operations after two months of work stoppage.

The defense chief said although fewer cases were being reported daily, quarantine measures must remain to avoid a “second wave” of infections.

“We would like to impress in our people ‘yung self-discipline, para masanay sila na ito na ‘yung new normal, na social distancing, wearing of face mask, sanitation,” Lorenzana said.

[We would like to impress self-discipline on our people so that they will get used to this new normal, with social distancing, wearing of face mask, sanitation.]

Health officials earlier clarified the country is still on its “first wave” of COVID-19 infections but insisted that the curve had “started to flatten”.

The Philippines COVID-19 tally is now at 13,771, with 863 deaths and 3,177 recoveries.

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