By Genalyn Kabiling
The proposed extension of the enhanced community quarantine in Bacolod City will be reviewed and decided upon by the government task force on the coronavirus response.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the approval of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) is part of the standard protocol following the appeal made by the city council of Bacolod to the national government.
“The appeal of Bacolod City officials asking for President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to extend the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) until May 15, 2020 has reached the Office of the President. Aforesaid appeal needs to undergo protocol such as the approval of the IATF,” he said.
“Let us just wait for IATF’s decision in this regard,” he added.
The local officials of Bacolod had earlier asked the government task force to grant a 15-day extension of the ECQ in the area amid public health concerns.
Bacolod, currently under quarantine until April 30, is not included in the list of high-risk areas that will be placed on ECQ until mid-May. The city will instead fall among areas on general community quarantine starting May 1.
The Bacolod council, in a resolution, reportedly expressed concern that lifting the ECQ will lead to the increased movement of people. The city has recently reported nine cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) including two fatalities.
The government recently updated the list of places under the strict enhanced community quarantine until May 15 after conducting some validation. The revised list includes the National Capital Region, Region III (Central Luzon) except Aurora province, Region IV-A (CALABARZON), Pangasinan, Benguet, Baguio City, Iloilo, Cebu, Cebu City, and Davao City.
Areas with moderate and low risk of coronavirus infection, on the other hand, will be placed under general community quarantine wherein restrictions on public transportation and certain industries will be relaxed.