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Palace warns areas under looser restrictions can revert back to ECQ

Areas under looser restrictions can be placed again under enhanced community quarantine if the COVID-19 situation worsens, Malacañang said Monday.

Reports of apparent disregard for social distancing rules in public places such as malls emerged last Saturday after Metro Manila, Laguna, and some provinces in Central Luzon shifted to modified enhanced community quarantine, which allowed the reopening of more businesses. The rest of the country is under the more relaxed general community quarantine.

The development did not sit well with the Palace, which warned of more infections if the people continue to ignore quarantine protocols.

“Inaasahan namin  po ang full cooperation ng lahat. Kung wala pong full cooperation, siyempre po babalik sa ECQ dahil hindi naman pupuwedeng magpabaya ang estado sa obligasyon na protektahan ang kalusugan ng kanyang mamamayan,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a televised briefing.

“Pag ganyan po tayo nang ganyan, lahat ay mabibigyan, hindi ng ayuda, kung hindi ng COVID-19.”

Roque reiterated that the government had relaxed some restrictions in order to revitalize the economy that has been severely affected by the closure of many businesses and industries. He also said the threat of the virus remains since there is still no cure or vaccine.

Despite reports of people allegedly flouting social distancing rules, Roque said the government’s decision to put Metro Manila and other areas under MECQ was not a mistake.

“Hindi naman po kasi talagang after two months gaya ng buong daigdig  kinakailangan naman natin na buksan nang bahagya ang ating ekonomiya, kaya nga lang inaasahan natin sana dahan-dahan, unti-unti, hinay-hinay pero nangyari po talaga ay nagdagsaan,” he said.

Roque said the government considered the doubling time of infections, healthcare capacity, and the impact on the economy when it made the decision.

As of Sunday, the Philippines had 12,513 COVID-19 cases, with 824 deaths and 2,635 recoveries.—AOL, GMA News