ECQ Extended In Metro Manila And Other High-Risk Provinces
The enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, CALABARZON, and other identified high-risk provinces will be extended until May 15. The initial enhanced community quarantine was due to end on April 30.
In a taped briefing that was aired early Friday, a number of provinces were also identified as high-risk and will further continue the enhanced community quarantine. These areas continue to report a high number of COVID-19 cases, and these areas are as follows:
- Nueva Ecijia
- Oriental Mindoro
- Occidental Mindoro
Presidential Speaker Harry Roque also cited that the inclusion of Benguet, Pangasinan, Tarlac, and Zambales under enhanced lockdown is up for reevaluation by April 30. Meanwhile, the situation in Antique, Iloilo, Aklan, Capiz, Cebu, Cebu City, Davao del Norte, and Davao City will be rechecked.
He also mentioned that a general community quarantine” or GCQ will be enforced in low-risk and moderate-risk areas until mid-May. If there is no deterioration reported during the GCQ, it will be relaxed leading to normalization.
Duterte approved all the recommendations presented to him by the government’s coronavirus task force on Thursday, Roque said. The decision to extend the ECQ came after a series of meetings with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
The task force earlier recommended classifying Luzon into low, moderate, and high-risk areas for infections. This was due to a consensus that emerged in an earlier meeting with health experts that the stringent quarantine does not have to cover the entire island bloc.
The Health Department reported that the doubling time for COVID-19 cases has slowed down from three days in March to five days this week. The doubling time is one of the biggest factors that determined the fate of the Luzon lockdown. Other factors were also the number of new cases and the capacity of our health care system to manage the crisis.
Health experts, including the World Health Organization, have warned that hastily lifting quarantine restrictions — which include the suspension of mass transportation and the imposition of stay-at-home orders — may lead to the second wave of infections, just like in Singapore, which initially arrested the spread of COVID-19, but later faced a resurgence of the viral disease.