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IATF to meet next week to discuss fate of areas under ECQ, MECQ

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) will discuss next week the fate of areas under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) when lockdown measures expire by the end of the month.

In an interview on Dobol sa News TV, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the IATF will meet on Monday and Wednesday.

The Palace official, who also serves as spokesman for the IATF, said the task force is now finalizing new guidelines on general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) “kasi ang importante ngayon dapat malinaw kung ano ang GCQ at ang modified GCQ dahil doon nga papunta.”

The cities of Cebu and Mandaue were placed under ECQ, while Metro Manila, Laguna, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, and Zambales are under MECQ from May 16 to 31. Ten barangays of Navotas City are also under ECQ until the end of the month. The rest of the country are under GCQ.

While the next step for areas under MECQ is to shift to GCQ and those under GCQ will be MGCQ, Roque said the IATF still has to look into relevant data in deciding on lifting quarantine measures.

“Pero encouraging naman dahil may nabasa naman ako sa UP Research na nagpapakita na karamihan ng lugar sa Pilipinas ay mahigit kumulang ang doubling rate ng mga sakit ay napakatagal na. ‘Yung graph na nakita ko 30 days. ‘Yan po ang nagsasabi na puwede na nga siguro, pero titignan natin ang official na datos ng Department of Health,” he said.

Nevertheless, the Palace official said the public should observe “new normal” measures such as wearing masks and proper handwashing, and minimum health standards such as eating nutritious food, having enough sleep, and regular exercise. —Ted Cordero/KG, GMA News