While Metro Manila and other areas will remain under general community quarantine (GCQ) until June 30, President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night placed Cebu City under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) starting today, June 16.
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"The increasing number of new cases and widespread community transmission in majority of barangays in the city, as well as consistent case doubling time of less than seven (7) days and significant increase in critical care utilization against critical care capacity were the reasons cited why Cebu City reverted back to ECQ," Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said.
Talisay City, a component city under the province of Cebu, was placed under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) for the same reasons, Roque added.
"We are easing quarantine restrictions to manage the economy. Hindi ko kayo mapipigilan lumabas (I cannot stop you from going out)," Duterte said.
The President likewise placed under GCQ until the end of the month Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, and Santiago City in Region II; Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Tarlac, and Olongapo City in Region III; Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon, and Occidental Mindoro in Region IV-A for Luzon.
For the Visayas, Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental, Siquijor, Mandaue City, and Lapu-Lapu City in Region VII were placed under GCQ.
For Mindanao, Davao City and Zamboanga City in Mindanao are under GCQ.
The rest of the country remains under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) until June 30.
This developed as the Philippines on Monday reported its highest number of new recoveries from the COVID-19 pandemic in a single day at 298 — even as its total confirmed infections reached 26,420 ahead of the expected adjustments of quarantine measures.
The total recoveries stood at 6,252, while the death toll rose by 10 to 1,098.
It was the fifth straight day that the new recoveries numbered more than 240.
Among the fresh cases, 131 were from Metro Manila and 79 from Region VII, while the remaining 138 were spread out across the country.
Among the late cases, 21 were from Metro Manila, five were from Region VII while the 116 other patients where from various areas nationwide.
As of June 13, the Philippines had 44 certified polymerase chain reaction (PCR) facilities and 15 GeneXpert laboratories that had tested a total of 467,564 individuals.
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Several local government units had appealed the recommended community quarantine classification of their respective jurisdictions ahead of President Rodrigo Duterte's decision on the restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19, Malacañang said.
Roque said Cebu City had appealed to be placed under the stricter MECQ from the prevailing GCQ.
The Department of Health earlier said that Cebu City was a hot spot for the COVID-19 outbreak.
Roque said the following areas wanted to be placed under the general community quarantine from June 16 until the end of the month: Quezon province, Abra, Apayao, Caraga, and Lanao del Sur.
The following areas, meanwhile, wanted to be placed under the modified general community quarantine or the most relaxed type of community quarantine: Pangasinan, Angeles City, Nueva Ecija, Zambales, Pampanga, Cavite, and Cebu.
The LGUs of Dagupan City, Batanes, Davao de Oro, Davao del Norte, Davao Occidental, Davao Oriental, and Davao del Sur appealed for the "de-escalation" of the prevailing community quarantine protocols in their respective jurisdictions, Roque said.
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He said the government's inter-agency task force on pandemic response met on Monday to discuss the appeals ahead of the President’s expected announcement.
“The IATF is still discussing these appeals,” Roque said.
"When the President makes an announcement later, the decision and recommendation of the IATF on these appeals will also be announced.”
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