Stricter version of ECQ possible as COVID-19 cases in Cebu City continues to spike

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The chief implementer of the country’s pandemic response said there is a need to implement stricter restrictions in Cebu City as cases continues to rise despite being put under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

“Nakikita namin talaga kailangan pa ng stringent restrictions. Kasi na-find out namin na noong nag-ECQ sila, hindi ito properly implemented,” National Task Force on COVID-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said.

[We found out that stringent restrictions are still needed because the enhanced community quarantine was not properly implemented.]

President Rodrigo Duterte decided to revert the city back to ECQ when infections saw a dramatic increase at the start of the month of June. In addition, he also assigned Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, a former military chief, to oversee this shift of quarantine protocols.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año on Monday said Cebu City is now the new epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the Philippines.

The city recorded 131 new cases as of Sunday compared with Metro Manila’s 356 new cases from 17 local government units.