Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte approved his coronavirus taskforce's recommendation to impose general community quarantine on the following areas from November 1 to 30:
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III confirmed Duterte's approval in a message to Rappler on Tuesday, October 27. Earlier that day, Duterte's speech about the quarantine classifications was aired, but the Chief Executive was not clear on whether or not he had approved his task force's proposal.
Duque said the classifications announced by Duterte are "subect to appeal" by local government units. They have until October 28 to file their appeal with the Inter-agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
November will thus mark the first full month during the pandemic when no part of the Philippines is under the strictest quarantine classifications of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and modified ECQ.
Lanao del Sur, which had been under MECQ since September 8, will be downgraded to GCQ in November.
Metro Manila, Batangas, Tacloban City, Bacolod City, Iligan City, and Iloilo City had been under GCQ since at least October 1.
Metro Manila, epicenter of the Philippines' outbreak, has been under GCQ since June 1 or for 5 months – save for a 2-week spell in early August when it reverted to MECQ due to calls from medical frontliners.
Mayors of the capital region have asked the national government to retain the GCQ status until the end of the year.
There have been 371,630 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Philippines as of Monday. Of these, 36,333 are active cases. The country's death toll is at 7,039. – Rappler.com
(Editor's Note: November will be the first full month when no area in the country is under either ECQ or MECQ, not the first-ever time in the pandemic, as earlier reported.)
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.