By Masiding Noor Yahya
MANILA: The government has recalled the lifting of community quarantines in several areas across the country that have “low risk” to coronavirus infection. Instead, they would be placed under modified general community quarantine (GCQ), according to media reports.
In a televised press briefing, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said there will be no more areas in the whole country that will not be under community quarantine. “They will be on different levels,” he added.
Año said an amendment on the resolution of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) enforcing different types of lockdown in all areas in the county would be made on Wednesday.
Malacañang announced on Tuesday that President Duterte has approved the proposal of the IATF to lift the movement restrictions in 40 provinces and 11 cities nationwide starting May 16.
Areas under moderate risk would be placed under a general community quarantine, while Metro Manila, Cebu City, and Laguna province, which are considered high-risk areas due to the high concentration of COVID-19 cases, would be placed under modified enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
Año, vice-chair of the government’s National Task Force in charge of implementing measures to contain the novel coronavirus, said that the decision was made after some local chief executives appealed that they are not yet ready to lift the lockdown in their jurisdictions.
However, Health Secretary Francisco Duque said the signing of the resolution was an “honest mistake” and that he agreed to affix his signature as he was told that the resolution will not identify the areas where the community quarantines would be lifted.
Duque, chair of the IATF, signed the resolution together with Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, the task force’s co-chair. (With reports from agencies)