MGCQ for Metro Manila by end of the month if…

23-Sep-2020 Intellasia | PhilStar | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez is in favour of moving Metro Manila and other areas under general community quarantine to the more relaxed modified GCQ (MGCQ), provided the so-called Seven Commandments of minimum health standards are implemented.

“In my belief this is just my view we can already push for a more relaxed community quarantine,” he said during the Laging Handa briefing yesterday when asked if parts of the country could already move to MGCQ.

“But it is important that the public will have self-discipline and self-regulation so that the transmission would go down even under MGCQ. That will allow us to open more sectors in the economy,” he stressed.

He said the public has learned how to move and manage the virus after six months of being under lockdown.

While Lopez believes Metro Manila and other areas under GCQ can move to a more relaxed community quarantine, he says the so-called Seven Commandments would need to be implemented.

Th Seven Commandments include the wearing of face masks, wearing of face shields, not talking and eating especially while inside public transport, have adequate ventilation, frequently disinfection, observe physical distancing and not allow symptomatic individuals to go out.

In addition, Lopez said there should be more aggressive tracing, isolation, testing and treatment.

“If we do these, I believe that even if it’s modified GCQ, we can control and reduce the transmission and we can open the remaining part of the economy,” he said.

He said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) would still need to look at data to see if parts of the country under GCQ could already move to the more relaxed MGCQ.

At present, many parts of the country are already under MGCQ.

Apart from Metro Manila, other areas under GCQ until the end of the month are Bulacan, Batangas and Tacloban City.

Meanwhile, those under the stricter modified enhanced community quarantine are Lanao del Sur, Bacolod City and Iligan.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said areas with no COVID-19 transmission during the previous month may be placed under the “new normal,” wherein a particular place is no longer under community quarantine but is still required to observe health protocols, Malacanang said yesterday.

The government defined “new normal” as “emerging behaviors, situations and minimum public health standards that will be institutionalised in common or routine practices and remain even after the pandenic while the disease is not totally eradicated.”

The IATF removed the “new normal” classification last June because of the rising number of infections.

“As to whether or not Metro Manila can move away from GCQ, we have requirements for that… Let’s wait for the data,” Roque said.

Roque previously said Metro Manila’s case doubling rate should be 28 days or more in order to be downgraded to MGCQ. While Metro Manila has not achieved that, the capital region has new isolation facilities and hospital beds, he added.

Roque said there is no need to panic over the coronavirus crisis as health experts already know the enemy. “So do not panic. We are in control,” he added

“We’re still data-driven and guided by science. What I can say though is it will not be the same because I myself suggested, and the IATF agreed, that there will be areas with zero transmission in the past month that can be declared under the regime of new normal,” Roque said at a press briefing in Cagayan de Oro.

“So with that, there will be a new classification, we will have a new normal aside from MGCQ,” he added, referring to the most lenient quarantine scenario.

President Duterte is expected to announce the updated quarantine classifications before October 1. The government has agreed to carry out quarantine classifications for one month instead of two weeks to ensure continuity in the enforcement of safety protocols.


Category: Philippines

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