After placing Metro Manila under general community quarantine (GCQ) for a month, President Rodrigo Duterte again extended GCQ for the capital region even as coronavirus cases rose on Tuesday, June 30.
Duterte, echoing Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, announced the decision on Wednesday, July 1, in a late night television address aired minutes before June 30 ended – the supposed expiration of GCQ for Metro Manila and other areas in the country.
Metro Manila joined the following areas under GCQ:
The rest of the country has been placed under modified GCQ (MGCQ) – the most relaxed quarantine phase where public transportation may resume at full capacity operations, dine-in restaurants, cinemas, and gyms may reopen at half capacity, and public gatherings are permitted with limitations.
Earlier on Tuesday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force on new quarantine classifications was discussed with the President in a meeting on Monday, June 29.
Ahead of the decision, at least 3 local government units (LGUs) appealed to the IATF to relax restrictions in their areas. Roque said Tuesday that only one LGU wanted to ease quarantine protocols.
When the President made his decision, coronavirus cases in the country breached the 37,000-mark on Tuesday. The second highest single-day increase of 1,080 cases brought the current tally to 37,514.
Of these new cases, 858 were "fresh cases" – the highest number of fresh cases recorded in one day so far. Half or 430 cases came from Central Visayas, where Cebu City is located.
By only a few thousands, the Philippines missed the 40,000 positive cases estimated by the University of the Philippines OCTA researchers for June 30.
But UP researchers projected that virus-hit patients may reach 60,000 to more than 70,000 by the end of July if community transmission remains unabated. The researchers reached this estimate using a range of the observed reproduction number (R) in the country – the lower end of the observed R of 1.09 to the current average R of 1.28.
Malacañang earlier said that considerations will be "balanced" as the economy also needs to be reopened. – Rappler.com