ECQ in Cebu, Mandaue cities; MECQ in Central Luzon provinces

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The cities of Cebu and Mandaue will be placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) while five provinces in Central Luzon will be under modified ECQ (MECQ) from May 16 to 31.

This was contained in the latest resolution issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) signed on Friday.

The ECQ, the most stringent community quarantine imposed by the government to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) outbreak, is now enforced in Cebu City and Mandaue City, according to the IATF-EID’s Resolution 37.

The task force also decided to include Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva, Ecija, Pampanga, Zambales, and Angeles City in the roster of areas placed under MECQ.

The latest development came following the appeals of the local governments to reclassify the community quarantine in their respective localities as they feared that relaxing quarantine measures would lead to a sharp rise in Covid-19 infections in the country.

The latest resolution noted that Metro Manila and Laguna would remain under MECQ beginning May 16.

Originally, Metro Manila, Laguna, and Cebu City were placed under MECQ from May 16 to 31, based on Resolution 35.

General community quarantine (GCQ), the most relaxed community quarantine, will be implemented in areas that are not under ECQ or MECQ, it said.

“After validation by the IATF (sub-technical working group) on Data Analytics, with updated case numbers and health systems capacity data, and in consideration of the appeals of the local government units, the final recommendations of the IATF Screening and Validation Committee are approved,” the resolution read.

On March 16, President Rodrigo Duterte placed the entire Luzon under ECQ until April 14 to stop the further transmission of Covid-19 in the country.

Duterte then approved on April 7 the further extension of the Luzon-wide ECQ until April 30.

On April 30, Duterte signed Executive Order (EO) 112, approving the IATF-EID’s recommendation to impose ECQ in Metro Manila; Central Luzon, except Aurora; Calabarzon; Benguet; Pangasinan; Iloilo province; Cebu province; Bacolod City; and Davao City until May 15.

Under EO 112, the GCQ was enforced in all low- and moderate-risk areas nationwide from May 1 to 15.

The Philippines has so far recorded 12,091 Covid-19 infections, with 806 deaths and 2,460 recoveries. (PNA)