President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (MNS Photo)

MANILA, July 29 (Mabuhay) — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte approved the recommendation to extend the general community quarantine (GCQ) “with heightened restrictions in Metro Manila until August 15, Malacañang announced on Wednesday.

The stricter GCQ has been retained in Metro Manila, after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) observed an increase in the daily attack rate, two-week average attack rate, and health care utilization rate in the country’s metropolis, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a pre-recorded Talk to the People.

“The Chief Executive extended the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions classification of the National Capital Region beginning August 1, 2021 until August 15, 2021,” Roque said in a press statement.

Apart from Metro Manila, four of its nearby provinces – Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal – will also be placed under GCQ with heightened restrictions from August 1 to 15, Roque said.

Other areas that will be under GCQ with heightened restrictions beginning August 1 include Ilocos Sur, Cagayan, Lucena City, Naga City, Aklan, Bacolod City, Capiz, Negros Oriental, Zamboanga del Sur, Misamis Oriental, Davao City, Davao del Norte, Davao de Oro, Davao Occidental, and Butuan City, Roque said.

Originally, GCQ with heightened restrictions have been imposed in Metro Manila, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Davao de Oro, and Davao del Norte from July 23 to 31.

ECQ retained in 4 areas

Meantime, the province of Iloilo and its highly-urbanized city will remain under the most restrictive enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) until August 7, he said.

He added that ECQ status will also be retained in Cagayan de Oro and the City of Gingoog in Misamis Oriental.

The ECQ classification has been imposed in the Iloilo province and its city, as well as in Cagayan de Oro and Gingoog City, due to the apparent spike in the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infections.

MECQ status

The modified ECQ (MECQ), second to the most restrictive quarantine classification, will be imposed in Ilocos Norte, Bataan, Lapu-Lapu City and Mandaue from August 1 to 15, Roque said.

Bataan, Lapu-Lapu City, and Mandaue are currently under modified GCQ (MGCQ) until July 31.

The quarantine status in Ilocos Norte has also been upgraded since it is currently under GCQ with heightened restrictions until end of July.

GCQ sans restrictions

Roque said the GCQ classification sans restrictions will be implemented in Baguio City, Apayao, City of Santiago, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Quezon, Batangas, Puerto Princesa, Guimaras, Negros Occidental, Zamboanga Sibugay, City of Zamboanga, Zamboanga del Norte, Davao Oriental, and Davao del Sur from August 1 to 31.

General Santos City, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato, South Cotabato, Agusan del Norte, Surigao del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Sur, and Cotabato City in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao will also be placed under regular GCQ for the entire month of August, he said.

The rest of the country will stay under MGCQ next month.

Duterte approved the IATF-EID’s recommendation quarantine classifications for the month of August.

Duterte said his administration has to continue imposing strict measures against Covid-19 “to protect public health and safety.”

He said he was left with no choice but heed the medical experts’ advice.

“Kailangan itong mga patakaran para sa kapakanan, for you to survive, para mabuhay kayo (We need these measures for your welfare, for you to survive and continue to live [amid the pandemic]),” Duterte said. (MNS)

READ NEXT: OCTA: NCR cases rose by 43%; reproduction number up to 1.29