Heeding the appeals of the medical community, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte reimposed stricter lockdown measures in Metro Manila and other nearby provinces as COVID-19 cases continues to rise.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque told reporters in a text message that Duterte approved the return of Metro Manila, Laguna, Cavite, Rizal, and Bulacan under the stricter modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) from Aug. 04 to 18.
The MECQ was decided during a cabinet meeting on Sunday night, Roque added.
Last Friday, Duterte announced that Metro Manila would remain under the more lenient general community quarantine (GCQ) for two more weeks.
Metro Manila, the epicenter of the contagion in the country, has been under GCQ since June 01 — a government gamble to gradually reopen the economy to pump life into the pandemic-hit economy.
Medical frontliners urged the government, however, to revive the strict lockdown in Metro Manila for the next two weeks, saying a “timeout” would be needed to prevent the collapse of the health care system amid the continuous surge in coronavirus infections.
The frontliners also called for the adoption of comprehensive and effective measures to contain the outbreak as the health care system was already overwhelmed.
On Sunday, the Department of Health reported 5,032 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the country’s total caseload to 103,185. It is considered the highest single-day jump on record in the country.
More than half or 55,808 of the total infections nationwide are in Metro Manila.
The country’s death toll climbed to 2,059 while the recoveries reached 65,557. (Source: INQUIRER.net)