A couple of days ago, the government announced that several locations in the country will no longer be placed under any type of community quarantine (CQ) beginning on May 16 as they have been deemed low-risk.
However, the government has recalled the lifting of CQ in these locations. Instead of fully lifting the CQ, these areas will be put under what they call Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ).
According to DILG Secretary Eduardo Año, local executives, governors, and mayors in CQ areas said that they are not yet ready to remove community quarantine despite being low-risk areas. In light of this, the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) decided to place the low-risk areas under MGCQ.
Essentially, areas under MGCQ will almost have a similar set of guidelines like GCQ locations. However, restrictions will be more relaxed to allow the citizens to get to their place of work, as well as allow public transportation to resume operations. At the same time, LGUs will still have the authority to put up health and safety measures should there be a spike of new COVID-19 cases in these areas.
“Wala na pong lugar sa Pilipinas na hindi nasa ilalim ng community quarantine. Yung nauna pong areas na sinabi natin na wala na pong community quarantine, balik po sila under modified GCQ,” said Harry Roque, Presidential Spokesperson.
[There will be no places in the Philippines that would not be placed under community quarantine. The areas we said that would no longer be under community quarantine will now be under modified GCQ]
With the amendment in place, Regions I, IV-B, V, VI, VIII, X, XII, as well as the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) will be put under MGCQ starting on May 16, 2020. The government reminded that all those living in MGCQ areas will still have to follow minimum health standards (social distancing measures, temperature checks, sanitizing practices, etc.).
The country currently has 11,618 confirmed cases, 772 fatalities, and 2,251 recoveries as of the latest report from the Department of Health (DOH). As the country slowly reopens its economy, we all still have to follow strict health protocols and safety guidelines to avoid contracting or spreading the disease. Let's just hope that everyone will follow the minimum health standards at all times.