President Rodrigo Duterte has extended the quarantine status of the Philippines' capital and other regions. According to the president's spokesperson, the decision to extend the current measures in the country was based on the recommendation by the country's coronavirus task force.
The new quarantine protocols were announced on Monday evening by Health Secretary Francisco Duque III. The official noted that the updated protocols were approved by Duterte.
Extension Of Quarantine Protocols
During a late-night announcement, which was streamed via online platforms, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque confirmed that the nation's capital Metro Manila would remain under general community quarantine (GCQ). This decision was based on the recommendation by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) based on the current trend of COVID-19 cases in the country.
Other areas that were placed under GCQ include Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Santiago City in Region II; Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Tarlac, Olongapo City in Region III; Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon in Region IV-A, and Occidental Mindoro for Luzon. Areas in Visayas and Mindanao including Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental, Siquijor, Mandaue City, Lapu-Lapu City, Davao City and Zamboanga City are also under GCQ.
Under the GCQ guidelines, certain business establishments in these areas are allowed to partially open. Public transportation services are also permitted as long as operators continue to follow social distancing measures.
Stricter Measures in Cebu City
Although most of the country is currently under GCQ, Cebu City has been reverted back to enhanced community quarantine, which imposes stricter protocols. According to Roque, the region was placed under ECQ due to the current status of the outbreak in the country.
"The increasing number of new cases and widespread community transmission in majority of barangays in the city, as well as consistent case doubling time of less than seven days and significant increase in critical care utilization against critical care capacity were the reasons cited why Cebu City reverted back to ECQ," Roque stated.
Latest COVID-19 Update
As recommended by the IATF-EID, the new quarantine protocols will be implemented until the end of June. They will most likely be extended again if the number of cases in the country continues to rise
According to the Department of Health's COVID-19 tracker, it has recorded 490 new confirmed cases on June 15, bringing the country's total to 26,420. As of this writing, 1,098 people have already died in the country due to the outbreak, while 6,252 individuals have recovered.