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Duterte to announce fate of COVID-19 quarantine on Friday morning

President Rodrigo Duterte will announce his decision on whether to extend the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon on Friday morning.

Presidential spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque made the announcement after Duterte's meeting with members of the Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19 in Malacanang.

Malacanang earlier announced that Duterte will decide on whether he would extend the community on Thursday.

Duterte on Thursday consulted with government officials, medical experts and former Health secretaries this week regarding possible measures to be implemented after April 30, or more than a month after the Luzon-wide quarantine started.

The health experts recommended to the President a modification of quarantine guidelines in Luzon which may entail the easing of restrictions in areas with few or zero COVID-19 cases, Duterte’s spokesperson Harry Roque said on Wednesday.

He also said the experts suggested the current quarantine rules should remain in areas with a high number of infections.

Duterte imposed last month strict confinement measures in Luzon to contain the spread of the virus, including sweeping restrictions on travel and mass gatherings, and the closure of schools and non-essential businesses.

He asked the people to stay home even as he told the military and police to prepare for a stricter enforcement of quarantine rules.

The President also directed Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua to focus on crafting the Philippine recovery plan.

The Luzon-wide quarantine was originally scheduled to end on April 13 but Duterte extended it until April 30.

As of Wednesday, the Philippines had 6,981 COVID-19 cases, with 462 fatalities and 722 recoveries. -Virgil Lopez/NB, GMA News