LATE in the evening of June 30, the national Inter-Agency Task Force for the management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) announced that Davao City will now be placed under a modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) from July 1 to 15. This now makes the entire region under MGCQ.
However, according to the announcement of IATF-EID last night, Davao City together with the rest of the region is not merely placed under MGCQ. It is MGCQ but with "strict local action," which means that it can implement localized community quarantine and zoning, strict enforcement of minimum health standards, scale-up of health system capacity, and put up isolation facilities for returning overseas Filipinos, locally stranded individuals, and those who had close contacts with coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) patients.
According to the City Government of Davao, food and medicine passes will continue to be implemented during the MGCQ. As a reminder, the passes cannot be used on Sundays. The 24-hour liquor ban will still be in effect but subject to review on July 15. Curfew remains to be at 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
More business establishments have been allowed to resume operations. This includes fitness gyms, pisonet, internet cafes, spa and massage, and bars, karaoke, and entertainment venues.
Businesses are reminded to observe the following health safety protocols: Wearing of face mask, observing two-meter physical distancing, hand washing facility, availability of alcohol, regular disinfection, and if an employee is unwell, he or she must not be forced to work.
Some may rejoice that the city is placed under MGCQ but we should be reminded that this does not mean that the virus is gone. Sars-CoV-2, the virus causing Covid-19, is still there. Davao City Mayor Sara Z. Duterte-Carpio has always been realistic about this and never failed to remind Dabawenyos that we are still in "quarantine" and only a vaccine can ensure that the virus is gone.
Therefore, it is important for residents of Davao City to be reminded that they have to continue to observe health safety protocols. The city has simplified this into four -- (1) as much as possible stay at home, (2) wear a face mask, especially in public spaces, (3) observe a two-meter physical distance from other people, and (4) regularly wash hands with soap and water.
Both the mayor and some health officials have said that Covid-19 in Davao City has been somehow controlled. This is thanks to the efforts on their level and also the cooperation of many Dabawenyos. Let us keep it that way by being disciplined and cooperating with the local government unit and the health officials. One way we can keep the virus under control before a vaccine arrives is through cooperation and discipline.