Philippines

Lorenzana: NCR ready to revert to GCQ

BY NOREEN JAZUL • ARGYLL GEDUCOS

National Task Force Against COVID-19 Chairman Delfin Lorenzana said on Monday that Metro Manila is ready to revert to the less restrictive general community quarantine (GCQ) after August 18.

“I think the trend is going down. Yesterday, mga 3,000 na lang ‘yung bagong kaso, down from 6,000 previously, so I think we’re ready to go down [to GCQ],” Lorenzana told ANC in an interview Monday.

The NTF chairman added the country can no longer “continue” to be under a modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).

Lorenzana also said the government has already identified the areas which have the most number of infections and will only focus on those areas.

Malacañang, however, said extending the MECQ in the National Capital Region (NCR) and nearby areas would be up to the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases as it is a delicate decision to be made.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made the statement after House Health Committee Chairwoman Quezon Rep. Angelina Tan said the two-week “timeout” granted to the medical community is “not enough” to address the problems in the country’s healthcare system.

“On the suggestion to make the MECQ effective for one month, this is a decision that has to be made by the [IATF],” he said Monday morning.

“It entails a delicate balancing of protecting and saving people’s health to protecting and saving the economic health of the nation,” he added.

According to Roque, the Palace will have to wait to assess the existing MECQ because its effects will not be felt immediately.

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