LIVESTREAM: Duterte addresses the nation August 17 on MECQ fate

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte will address the nation on Monday night, August 17, to announce the new community quarantine classifications to slow down the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the National Capital Region (NCR) and the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, and Bulacan.

Duterte addresses the nation August 17 on MECQ fate
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte confers with Health Secretary Francisco Duque III during a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members at the Presidential Guest House in Panacan, Davao City on August 10, 2020. PCOO

This was confirmed Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque, Jr. in his regular press briefing today.

Roque earlier said that modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) extension in the NCR and hotspot provinces is 'unlikely' given the lack of funds to provide assistance to severely affected Filipinos and the huge blow to the economy.

UPDATEMetro Manila back to GCQ

He also underscored that the President’s decision on the community quarantine classification will still be based on the case doubling rate and the critical care capacity, taking also into consideration the clustering of cases in Metro Manila.

“Of course, the cases will always have an impact on the decision pero sa tingin ko po alam na nating magtatagal ang COVID[-19] sa buong mundo at hindi lang sa Pilipinas, at alam na natin kung paano mabuhay with, despite and in spite of COVID,” Roque stressed.

LIVESTREAM: President Rodrigo Duterte's address (August 17, 2020)

The Palace official also stressed that the country’s case doubling rate is not yet in the critical level, while critical care capacity is strengthened with the addition of more hospital beds for COVID-19. “So far po, hindi naman po lumalala ang ating case doubling rate at dahil nga po today, August 17, nag-inaugurate tayo ng 250-bed capacity diyan sa East Avenue Medical Center (EAMC) that will cater exclusively to COVID patients, naibsan po yung ating critical care capacity,” said Sec Roque.

On Saturday, Roque announced the quarantine classifications for other areas for August 16 to 31.

Ten areas are currently under the general community quarantine (GCQ): Nueva Ecija, Batangas, Quezon, Iloilo City, Cebu City, Mandaue City, Lapu-Lapu City, Talisay City, towns of Minglanilla and Consolacion.

As of August 17, the nationwide COVID-19 total reached 164,474 with 3,314 new confirmed cases. Most of the cases were logged in NCR, Laguna and Cavite provinces, 1,918, 274, and 219, respectively.

— The Summit Express

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