(UPDATED) Quarantine restrictions will not be relaxed in the cities of Cebu and Mandaue as both remain under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) until May 31.
Six other local government units -- five provinces and one city -- were added to the list of MECQ areas, along with the National Capital Region (NCR) and Laguna province.
These changes are contained in Resolution 37 of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases that was passed Friday, May 15.
Cebu City was earlier placed under MECQ together with the NCR and Laguna province while Mandaue City was among the areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) from May 16 to 31.
NCR (or Metro Manila) and Laguna are still under MECQ, which would allow some industries to resume operations.
Added to the list of MECQ areas are Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Zambales, and Angeles City.
The rest of the country is now under GCQ.
In its latest resolution, the IATF said it approved the final recommendation of the screening and validation committee, which was based on analysis of the updated case numbers and health systems capacity of the affected areas.
As of May 15, Cebu City had 1,702 cases of coronavirus infection while Mandaue City had 111 as of May 14.
Nationwide, the total case count reached 12,091 on May 15, including 806 mortalities and 2,460 survivors.
Under ECQ, public transport systems are suspended, business establishments and factories are closed except those engaged in essential goods and services, mass gatherings are prohibited, and the people are mandated to stay at home except the essential workers and frontliners in the battle against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
Under MECQ, some industries are allowed to reopen and construction projects may resume at a limited capacity. Public transport systems are still suspended. Everyone should still stay at home except persons authorized to go out. Gatherings of up to five people and limited outdoor exercise are allowed.
Under GCQ, public transport systems may resume provided social distancing is observed. More businesses may resume operations as long as minimum health standards are complied with. Only the elderly and those below 21 years old are not allowed to go out, except for essential trips.
READ: Dos and don’ts during ECQ, MECQ and GCQ
The Philippines is still under a state of national emergency and public health emergency because of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
President Rodrigo Duterte first imposed a community quarantine in Metro Manila on March 15. This was expanded to cover the entire Luzon and intensified into ECQ effective March 17.
LGUs outside Luzon were authorized to impose similar measures.
Cebu City, considered the Covid-19 hotspot outside NCR, has been under ECQ since March 28.
Covid-19, which is caused by the novel coronavirus or Sars-CoV-2, has killed 297,119 as of May 15. Over 4.3 million people have been infected, according to the World Health Organization. (MVI/SunStar Philippines)