General community quarantine by June 1?
Metro Manila may be ready for more relaxed COVID-19 general community quarantine protocols (GCQ) by June 1, more than two months after these were imposed.
Metro Manila mayors have recommended relaxed quarantine protocols starting June 1
This was according to Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) General Manager Jose Arturo Garcia, in an online press briefing with reporters, citing the unanimous recommendation of the Metro Manila Council (MMC). The MMC is composed of the metropolis’ 17 mayors.
“We will wait for the decision of the IATF Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID),” Garcia said, adding that the mayors reached the decision primarily to revive the economy, which has taken a hit due to long-standing restrictions to fight COVID-19.
The mayors cited economic considerations in recommending the ECQ lifting
He said that specific areas like barangays with increasing coronavirus cases can still be placed under lockdown.
The recommendation was echoed by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, who noted that residents will have to prepare for a “new normal” in observing health protocols such as wearing face masks even inside their offices.
He says that although the number of cases has been declining, he would like to impress self-discipline in citizens.
Modified Number Coding Scheme
Garcia says that the MMDA will be implementing a modified number coding scheme on June 1, which stipulates a minimum number of occupants inside a particular vehicle in order to avoid apprehension.
Under the proposal, vehicles with more than one passenger on board are exempt from the usual number coding scheme.
The MMDA is proposing a modified coding scheme under the GCQ
Asked if frontliners are exempted from the scheme, he replied that considerations may be made for emergency cases, but urged the public not to abuse them.
The MMC will also recommend that buses and jeepneys be prohibited from plying their routes during the transition to GCQ, but all other means of transportation including P2P buses may resume operations, subject to physical distancing protocols.
Jeepneys are still likely to be prohibited from the roads for the meantime
Under the GCQ, people will be allowed to move outside their homes for work and essential services within areas that have no coronavirus cases.
Garcia clarifies that these are proposals for now, with the final guidelines to be announced on June 1 should the proposed GCQ pushes through.
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