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    Bulacan, Pampanga, 4 other areas now under MECQ – DILG

    MANILA, Philippines – The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has approved the appeal of local government units to place majority of Region 3 provinces under the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) starting May 16.
    Bulacan, Pampanga, 4 other areas now under MECQ - DILG

    Aside from Metro Manila, Cebu and Laguna, IATF also declared MECQ in the areas of Bulacan, Pampanga, Bataan, Zambales, Angeles City and Nueva Ecija. This was confirmed early Saturday by Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año.

    Previously, general community quarantine (GCQ) was imposed by the government in the said provinces. However, the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force (RIATF) on COVID-19 in Central Luzon, in its Resolution 1 dated May 13, recommended that their areas be placed under MECQ from May 16 to 31.

    SEE ALSO: ECQ vs. modified ECQ: what's the difference?

    They made the appeals amid concerns that the sudden relaxation of quarantine protocols in their provinces could further increase the transmission of COVID-19 infections within their respective jurisdictions.

    The second wave of cash aid will be distributed to poor families living in areas placed under ECQ.

    Under the national government’s Social Amelioration Program, some 23 million low-income households are qualified to receive the first tranche of emergency subsidies ranging from PHP5,000 to PHP8,000 based on the regional wage rates.

    Latest IATF resolution

    IATF issued an amendment to its previous resolution, Resolution No. 35-A, after deliberation of its members.

    “Nag-isyu ang IATF ng amendment sa Resolution No. 35 na simula Mayo disi-sais, ang mga probinsya, highly urbanized cities at independent component cities na classified as low risk areas ay mapapasailalim pa rin sa general community quarantine (GCQ),” clarified Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque Jr., in his May 14 press briefing in Malacañang.

    Testing capacity

    Task Force T3 (Test, Trace, and Treat) chief implementer Vince Dizon presented updates on the country’s testing capacity. According to Dizon, the percentage of actual tests per day has increased 74 percent from 5,000 tests (as of May 2) to 8,700 tests (as of May 10). Testing capacity per day also increased 70.6 percent from 8,500 tests (as of May 2) to 14,500 tests (as of May 10).

    Dizon also reported that as of May 14, there are now 30 testing laboratories nationwide, some 10,000 OFWs were already swabbed from May 7-12, there are now 3,000 isolation bed capacity, and that additional isolation facilities are being constructed in Visayas and Mindanao.

    As of May 15, the Philippines has recorded 12,091 COVID-19 infections.

    Around 2,460 persons have already recovered from the infectious disease, while about 806 patients have died.

    — The Summit Express

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