NCR to revert back to ECQ? Palace says there’s no final word yet

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The continuous rise of COVID-19 infections in Metro Manila has prompted several rumors on the capital region reverting back to the strictest lockdown from general community quarantine, however, the government said it has no concrete plans yet on doing so.

“That’s not being considered for now. Suggestion of UP (University of the Philippines) was MECQ (modified enhanced community quarantine),” presidential spokesman Harry Roque said in a text message to The STAR.

Under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), only selected industries like business process outsourcing and export-based firms and essential sectors like food production and health care are allowed to operate. More businesses can resume operations under MECQ but mass transportation and public gatherings remain restricted.

“We will see what will happen within the next two weeks,” Roque said at a press briefing.

Roque also said it would be up to local governments to decide whether to adopt the suggestion of Interior Undersecretary Martin Diño to conduct a shame campaign against quarantine violators.

“We are leaving that to local governments. What we want is to have a common ordinance especially in Metro Manila because we have two weeks to slow the spread of cases,” the Palace spokesman said.