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Metro Manila to remain under lockdown until May 31

12 May 2020

By The SUN

Under the modified ECQ approved by Duterte, some businesses will be allowed to resume operations,
but residents will remain mostly indoors (File photo)

The movement of people in Metro Manila (or National Capital Region), Laguna province and Cebu City will continue to be severely restricted with the extension of the enhanced community quarantine in these places until May 31.

President Rodrigo Duterte today, May 12, approved the proposal to extend the ECQ in the said places as part of the country’s effort to contain the spread of Covid-19, but with modifications.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made the announcement in a televised press briefing at noon Tuesday.
Roque  said under modified ECQ, some industries will be allowed to resume limited operations, but added that the government is still drawing up the list of businesses allowed to operate.

A few hours later, Duterte himself went on air to explain that the decision to extend the ECQ with a few industries being exempted, is meant to prevent a new surge in infections.

"We will (ease the restrictions) gradually so we won't fall...Because we cannot afford a second or third wave. This would happen if people many people catch the virus because there are rules that were not followed," he said in his televised address.
He also reminded the public to observe social distancing and to always wear a mask when they leave the house.

"Do not go out of your house without a mask. That is a must. Must comply. The police will remind you. 'My friend, step aside. You do not have mask. Where is your mask?' If you do not have a mask, you would endanger the person in front of you," Duterte said.
Despite the lockdown, hundreds of people came out last week to line up for government financial aid

Under the modified ECQ, people living in the so called “high risk” areas will continue to be kept largely indoors, with only a few being allowed to go out to buy food and other basic necessities, and in cases of emergency.

The new modified ECQ order will take effect on Sunday, May 16.

Many people in Metro Manila, the country’s economic and political hub, had hoped that the lockdown would end on May 15.


But the metropolis remains a high risk area during the pandemic as it accounts for a huge chunk of the country’s total of 11,086 confirmed cases of the coronavirus disease. So far, 999 patients have recovered, while 726 died.

Department of Health figures show 7,123 or over 62% of all cases were recorded in the NCR. Cebu City has 1,400 cases while Laguna has 384.
Duterte first placed Metro Manila under community quarantine on March 15, but upgraded this the next day to ECQ, and extended the order to cover the entire Luzon island until April 12.

The Luzon ECQ was later extended until Apr 30. A week before the deadline, the ECQ in Metro Manila and other high-risk areas in Luzon was extended further, to May 15.

Those deemed “low-risk areas” were placed under general community quarantine (GCQ) where some movement restrictions are relaxed.


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