By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
Malacañang on Monday said the decision to shift the quarantine status of the National Capital Region (NCR) from an Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) to a general community quarantine (GCQ) will depend mostly on its capability to attend to the medical needs of the people over the need to jumpstart the economy.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque issued the statement after Interior and Local Governments Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya hinted that Metro Manila, “by all indications,” may graduate from the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) after it lapses on May 15.”
Metro Manila was placed under GCQ on March 12 and was upgraded to ECQ on March 16 due to the threat of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
In an interview on Unang Hirit on Monday, Roque said the decision to revert NCR to GCQ will be based on science.
“Siyensiya po dahil alam naman po talaga na pinili na natin ang karapatang mabuhay above all else (It will be based on science because we chose everyone’s right to live above all else),” he said.
“Kaya nga po ako patuloy na pakiusap, be home liners. Manatili po sa loob ng bahay nang mapababa ang datos, at ma-convince ang ating policy makers na safe na po na mai-lift ang ECQ (That’s why I continue to appeal to everyone to be home liners. Stay at home so we can lower the data and convince our policy makers to lift the ECQ),” he added.
The Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases earlier said that it was basing its recommendations to President Duterte on the trends on the COVID-19 epidemiological curve, health systems capacity of local government units (LGUs), and economic, social, and security considerations.
Metro Manila and eight other high-risk geographical areas are under ECQ until May 15. Other low- and moderate-risk areas, on the other hand, are under the GCQ.
President Duterte has called on LGUs to fully and sincerely cooperate with the government in the fight against COVID-19. To date, the Department of Health (DOH) has recorded 9,223 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 607 of whom died while 1,214 recovered.