'NCR Plus' to remain under MECQ until May 14

Metro Manila, Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna, and Cavite will stay under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) until May 14, announced President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday, April 28, in a recorded public address.

Below are the complete quarantine classifications he announced. The list has been updated to include decisions reached by the task force on Thursday, April 29, following appeals of local governments.

MECQ until May 14
  • Metro Manila
  • Bulacan
  • Rizal
  • Laguna
  • Cavite
MECQ until May 31
  • Santiago City
  • Quirino
  • Abra
  • Ifugao (added by task force during April 29 meeting)
General community quarantine (GCQ) until May 31
  • Apayao
  • Baguio City
  • Benguet
  • Ifugao
  • Kalinga
  • Mountain Province
  • Cagayan
  • Isabela
  • Nueva Vizcaya
  • Batangas
  • Quezon
  • Tacloban City
  • Iligan City
  • Davao City
  • Lanao del Sur
  • Puerto Princesa (added by task force during April 29 meeting)
Modified GCQ until May 31
  • Rest of the country

Earlier, Metro Manila mayors had backed a "hybrid" MECQ in which travel in and out of Metro Manila would be restricted but more businesses would be allowed to operate.

The Department of Health (DOH) had recommended an extension of the MECQ in place in the so-called "NCR Plus" area for two weeks. Before this two-week period, the strictest quarantine classification had been imposed in the area to curb the alarming increase in COVID-19 cases in recent months. 

DOH and other medical experts, including former health secretary Manuel Dayrit, had said it was prudent to retain MECQ since hospitals continued to be at critical ICU occupancy rates, and new daily cases have continued to soar past 5,000.

Experts, however, noted a downward trend in infections, as indicated by a reproduction number of less than one the previous week. A reproduction number lower than one is ideal as this means one infected person tends to infect less people. – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

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 pia.ranada@rappler.com.