By Argyll Geducos
Malacañang advised the public to not be complacent as the government relaxed quarantine protocols in Metro Manila and other transitioning high-risk areas.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made the statement following reports of people in Metro Manila rushing to malls and the return of the traffic jam on EDSA on the first day of the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) over the National Capital Region (NCR).
There were reports that physical distancing measures were disregarded on the first day of the MECQ.
In a statement, Roque reminded the public to always follow health protocols to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“We advise the public not to be complacent and to follow health protocols set by authorities,” he said. “We must understand that we have started to slowly ease restrictions in order to revitalize the economy, and not because we are safe.”
According to Roque, the public must cooperate with the government and learn from other countries like South Korea, which contained the spread of the virus but later experienced a spike in COVID-19 cases when citizens became relaxed.
“We must not put to waste our collective efforts and sacrifices. Stay at home, go out to do essential work or when authorized as we ramp up testing,” he said.
“We must continue to be vigilant of the risks of COVID-19, conduct proper hygiene, wear face mask or face shield, and observe social or physical distancing,” he added.
Metro Manila is under the MECQ until the end of the month. Based on the omnibus guidelines on the implementation of the MECQ, malls and other manufacturing and non-essential businesses may partially open to help the economy. However, public transport, mass gatherings, and other self-care services remain prohibited.