The province of Isabela has been placed under the more stringent general community quarantine (GCQ) effective immediately and until the end of December following the recommendation of the concerned local government unit, Malacañang announced Tuesday.
Excluded from the GCQ coverage is Santiago City based on the latest decision of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Infectious Diseases (IATF), according to Presidential spokesman Harry Roque.
Isabela province was previously placed under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ), the least restrictive of the four lockdown levels implemented by the government.
“Nagpulong ang inyong IATF kahapon December 14 at ito ang mga naaprubahan: Una ang pag-escalate sa probinsya ng Isabela pero hindi kasama ang Santiago City sa general community quarantine galing sa MGCQ. Ito ay epektibo hanggang sa katapusan ng buwan (The IATF met December 14 and this has been approved: First, the province of Isabela except for Santiago City has been escalated to general community quarantine from MGCQ. This will be effective until the end of the month),” he said during a televised press briefing.
“Ang paglalagay ng Isabela sa GCQ ay nakabase sa moderate risk cross tabulation ng average daily attack rate at two-week daily growth rate. Ito rin po ay dahil sa hiniling at ni-recommend ni Governor (Rodolfo) Albano (III) (Placing Isabela under GCQ is based on the moderate risk cross tabulation of average daily attack rate and two-week daily growth rate. This was also asked and recommended by Governor Albano),” he added.
In the IATF Resolution No. 88, the imposition of the GCQ is “without prejudice to the imposition of localized enhanced community quarantine in areas of special concern.”
The task force also directed the Coordinated Operations to Defeat the Epidemic teams assigned in Isabela “to strengthen their activities to curb community transmission.”
The Isabela governor earlier announced the province would shift to GCQ for the month following the reported increase in the cases of the coronavirus. Based on the Department of Health data, the province has so far recorded 2,280 COVID cases with 1,872 recoveries and 20 deaths.
At present, Metro Manila, Batangas, Iloilo City, Tacloban City, Iligan City, Lanao del Sur, Davao City, and Davao del Norte remained under GCQ until December 31 to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease. The rest of the country stayed under the MGCQ until the end of the month.
The country has logged more than 450,000 cases of infections as the government gradually eased the lockdown rules to promote economic growth and employment. Authorities have repeatedly reminded the public to continue to observe health protocols especially during the holiday season to avoid getting infected.