From December 1 to 31, Metro Manila will remain under general community quarantine (GCQ) announced President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Monday after approving the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to retain the National Capital Region’s quarantine classification.
Along with the National Capital Region, Batangas, Iloilo City, Tacloban City, Lanao del Sur, Iligan City, Davao City, and Davao del Norte were also placed under GCQ.
The rest of the country will be under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) for the entire month of December.
During his meeting with President Duterte, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said there is a downward trend in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country and the Department of Health (DOH), in coordination with other experts, is studying this new development.
The goal, he said, is to guide the public and to sustain the daily downward trajectory of COVID-19 infections.
“At layunin din nito na malaman ang iba pang mga hakbang at mga interventions na maaaring maisagawa karagdagan sa ating mga minimum public health standards,” Duque told the President.
And as the country gears toward the holidays, Duque said the government has been preparing the country’s health facilities in case there’s a post-holiday surge. He reminded the public not to be complacent.
The Health chief also asked the assistance of national government agencies and local government units (LGUs) in encouraging the public to observe the minimum health standards this holiday season.
He advised people to stay away from large crowds and gatherings to avoid contracting the virus, and celebrate Christmas only with their immediate family members.
Duque said the DOH is also strictly implementing the Joint Administrative Order No. 2020-001: “Guidelines on the Proper Use and Promotion of Active Transport During an After the COVID-19 Pandemic”.
The order calls for setting up of safe networks or cycling and walking paths that the public can use as an alternative to public transportation.
“Patuloy ang kooperasyon ng DOH, ang DOTr, ang DILG, at DPWH upang masiguro ang pagkakaroon ng mga ligtas na networks na ito para po sa kapakanan ng ating commuting public,” he said.
As of Monday, the country recorded 1,773 new COVID-19 cases, putting the total number of cases at 431,630, Duque reported.
There is a total of 24,580 active cases while there are 398,658 recoveries.