Duterte extends GCQ in Metro Manila, puts Iligan City under MECQ

MANILA, Philippines – With the continuous increase of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in the country, President Rodrigo Duterte decided on Monday, August 31, to extend the general community quarantine (GCQ) over Metro Manila and several hotspot areas.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte holds a meeting with members of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).

This was announced following his meeting with the Inter-agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).

Areas put under GCQ until September 30 also include Bulacan, Batangas, Bacolod City and Tacloban City.

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Due to the rising number of coronavirus cases, President Duterte opted to carryout stricter restrictions in Iligan City, putting it under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).

The remaining parts of the country will be under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

The government is implementing one-month community quarantine period instead of two-week durations it imposed in the past.

Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., the chief implementer for the National Action Plan Against COVID-19, said they are looking at the remaining focus areas such as the NCR, Calabarzon, and Central Luzon.

In the Visayas region, Western Iloilo City, Iloilo, Negros Occidental and Bacolod City are under close watch.

The government is also increasing bed capacities of hospitals to accommodate more COVID-19 patients, Galvez said, adding they target to add around 1,000 hospital beds in Metro Manila.

“Dahil kasi pagka nagplano po tayo na magluwag sa ekonomiya, kailangan po talaga palakasin po natin ang treatment facility po natin especially po ‘yung ICU at ating mga ER,” Galvez told the President.

“At the same time, palakasin din po natin ‘yung treatment capacity lalo na po ng Metro Manila at saka ‘yung mga centers na nakikita po natin na pagka nag-open po ay may possibility po na umangat po ang mga severe cases.”

As of August 31, the nationwide COVID-19 total reached 220,819 with 3,446 new confirmed cases. The top regions with cases in the recent two weeks were NCR (1,528 or 52%), Region 4A (442 or 15%), and Region 3 (275 or 9%).

— The Summit Express

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