Editor’s Note: A day after this story was published, the Philippine government declared ECQ over Metro Manila from August 6 to 20. Read the full updated story here.
Metro Manila will remain under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions until August 15, after President Rodrigo Duterte approved the new quarantine classifications proposed by his pandemic task force.
Meanwhile, Iloilo City, Iloilo Province, Cagayan de Oro City, and Gingoog City will stay under the strictest classification, Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) for one more week, or until August 7.
Below are the quarantine classifications for the first weeks of August, as announced by Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque.
ECQ (August 1-7)
- Iloilo City
- Iloilo Province
- Cagayan de Oro City
- Gingoog City
MECQ (August 1-15)
- Ilocos Norte
- Lapu-Lapu City
- Mandaue City
GCQ with heightened restrictions (August 1-15)
- Metro Manila
- Lucena City
- Ilocos Sur
- Naga City
- Bacolod City
- Negros Oriental
- Zamboanga del Sur
- Misamis Oriental
- Davao City
- Davao del Norte
- Davao de Oro
- Davao Occidental
- Butuan City
GCQ (August 1-31)
- Baguio City
- Cordillera Administrative Region
- Santiago City
- Nueva Vizcaya
- Puerto Princesa
- Negros Occidental
- Zamboanga Sibugay
- Zamboanga City
- Zamboanga del Norte
- Davao Oriental
- Davao del Sur
- General Santos City
- Sultan Kudarat
- North Cotabato
- South Cotabato
- Agusan del Norte
- Surigao del Norte
- Agusan del Sur
- Dinagat Islands
- Surigao del Sur
- Cotabato City
The rest of the country will be under modified GCQ (MGCQ) for the entire month of August.
How to deal with Delta variant
To address concerns that the Philippines should be proactive in preparing for a Delta variant-related surge in COVID-19 cases, the task force also recommended the following measures:
- Shorten interval from detection to isolation or quarantine to less than five days
- Enforce facility-based isolation and avoid home-based isolation
- Prepare healthcare system
- Speed up vaccinations among elderly and persons with comorbidities since they are the most vulnerable
- Strictly enforce border control in all ports of entry
- Task force won’t hesitate to impose stricter quarantine classifications when “a surge in cases truly kicks in” (in the words of Presidential Spokesman Roque)
Duterte wants unvaccinated people to stay indoors
Meanwhile, Duterte’s contribution to the discussion was to say that unvaccinated people should be forced to stay home by either police or barangay captains.
“Yung mga ayaw magpabakuna, sinasabi ko sa inyo, huwag kayong lumabas ng bahay kasi ‘pag lumabas kayo ng bahay, sabihin ko sa mga pulis, ibalik ka doon sa bahay mo,” said Duterte.
(Those who don’t want to get vaccinated, I’m telling you, don’t step out of your house because I’ll tell the police to bring you back to your house.)
“You’ll be escorted back to your house because you are a walking spreader,” he added.
In mid-June, Duterte had threatened to order the arrest of people who refuse to get COVID-19 jabs.
During the Wednesday meeting, the Chief Executive admitted there was no law criminalizing refusal of vaccines. But he said he would “take full responsibility” for any legal cases or backlash from his latest order.
Duterte also said vaccines should be administered to anyone who wants it, if someone from one of the priority groups refuses the injection.
“Itong ayaw magpabakuna, ibigay na lang kaagad doon sa A3, doon na sa public kung sino gusto (The vaccines intened for people who don’t want to get vaccinated, give it immediately to A3, or anyone in the public who wants),” said the President.
Metro Manila mayors had earlier appealed to the national government to allow them to open vaccinations to the general population in a bid to stem a Delta variant spread. – Rappler.com