MANILA, June 10 (Mabuhay) — The government might be compelled to impose stricter quarantine restrictions if the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infections continue to rise, Malacañang said on Tuesday.

In a virtual presser aired on state-run PTV-4, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque raised the possibility that the community quarantine might be tighter anew, depending on the case doubling rate and critical healthcare capacity.

Roque said the classification of community quarantine after June 15 would either be retained to general community quarantine (GCQ) or raised to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).

“Kapag ganiyan pong tumataas, syempre po, may posibilidad na hindi po tayo mag-graduate to the next phase (Well, if the cases continue to rise, of course, there is a possibility that we might not graduate to the next phase),” Roque said. “If the trend continues, either magpapatuloy po siguro ang GCQ or baka babalik sa modified ECQ (it will stay as GCQ or go back to MECQ).”

The quarantine restrictions in the country were relaxed on June 1 despite the government’s continuing battle against Covid-19.

GCQ was implemented in Pangasinan, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Metro Manila, Central Visayas, Zamboanga City, Davao City, Albay, Cebu City, and Mandaue City until June 15.

Modified GCQ (MGCQ), on the other hand, was imposed in the rest of the country.

Roque said members of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) would hold a meeting on Wednesday to tackle the imposition of eased quarantine rules nationwide that would lapse on June 15.

He said the IATF-EID is also expected to come up with recommendations that will be presented during a meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte in Davao City on Thursday.

“Bukas din po, pag-agreehan ng IATF kung ano ang mangyayari sa June 16 (Tomorrow, the IATF will come up with an agreement as to what would happen on June 16),” Roque said.

As of June 8, the Philippines has reported 22,474 confirmed Covid-19 cases.

Roque said the possible relaxation or tightening of quarantine protocols in Metro Manila and Cebu City would be assessed “very carefully.”

“We have to look at the data of Metro Manila and Cebu City very carefully,” he said. “Tinitignan po natin ang case doubling rate. Tinitignan po natin ang critical care capacity (We are assessing the case doubling rate. We are assessing the critical care capacity).”

Metro Manila, the epicenter of the Covid-19 outbreak in the country, recorded a total of 12,243 Covid-19 infections.

Cebu City, on the other hand, reported a total of 2,883 Covid-19 confirmed cases.  (MNS)