MALACAÑANG on Tuesday, April 28, said the list of areas with an extended enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) until May 15 has been trimmed to three regions, four provinces and three cities.
These are the National Capital Region (or Metro Manila), Central Luzon region except Aurora province, Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon), Pangasinan, Benguet, Baguio City, Iloilo province, Cebu province, Cebu City and Davao City.
All other regions, provinces and cities not on the list would shift to a general community quarantine (GCQ) by May 1, Roque said. Under a GCQ, minimum health standards would still be imposed.
Quarantine measures may be lifted in low-risk areas after May 15 “should no deterioration in their risk level occur”.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque announced the list as contained in Resolution No. 29 of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
“Naaprubahan na po kahapon ng IATF ang Resolution no. 29, ito po ay nagrerekomenda kung paano po ima-manage ang Covid 19 disease,” Roque said.
The same IATF resolution also allows higher education institutions in areas under GCQ to operate with a skeleton staff in order to finish school year 2019-2020, issue credentials to students and prepare for flexible learning arrangement for the next academic year.
The resolution also allows the Department of Tourism to charter and fund sweeper flights for stranded domestic tourists from other regions to Metro Manila.
The quarantine measures are aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus disease, a respiratory infection caused by the novel coronavirus or Sars-CoV-2.
President Rodrigo Duterte first placed Metro Manila under a GCQ on March 15. This was expanded to cover Luzon and intensified into an ECQ on March 17.
Other local government units, like Cebu and Davao, followed after infections increased.
The novel coronavirus has infected 7,777 individuals in the Philippines as of April 27, 2020. Of this number, 501 had died and 862 have recovered.
Globally, the World Health Organization recorded more than 2.87 million infections, including 198,668 mortalities as of April 27, 2020. (With a report from Jove Moya/SunStar Philippines)