The enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila starting August 6 will be stricter compared to its previous implementation, Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año said Tuesday.
Interviewed on GMA News’ Unang Balita, Año said violators of minimum public health standards will be arrested. He also said police personnel will be deployed to areas with crowds and history of violations.
“Mas mahigpit tayo ngayong ECQ na 'to. Ang tawag nga natin hard lockdown… Kung may makikita diyan [na violator], talagang aarestuhin ng ating mga pulis,” he said.
(The ECQ now will be stricter. We call it a hard lockdown. The police will arrest violators of health protocols.)
Año clarified that violators will be accosted first and will only be arrested if they will ignore instructions. Penalties, based on existing ordinances of local government units, will be imposed on violators.
Days before the implementation of the ECQ, Metro Manila mayors have extended curfew from the previous 12 a.m. to 4 a.m. to 8 a.m. to 4 a.m.
Philippine National Police chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar directed the National Capital Region Police Office to ensure the strict implementation of the longer curfew.
“The strict border control and the longer curfew hours are but some of the necessary interventions to prevent the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19,” he said in a statement.
Eleazar ordered police personnel to coordinate with barangay officials in enforcing the curfew.
He said the curfew implementation would help prevent mass gatherings in the communities and further spread of COVID-19.
What will happen during ECQ
During the ECQ from August 6 to 20, around 4 million vaccines are targeted to be administered in the Nation Capital Region, according to Año.
The capacity of healthcare facilities such as intensive care units and isolation centers will be enhanced to accommodate more patients.
Contract tracing and isolation of COVID-19 cases will be improved during the two-week hard lockdown.
According to Año, the stricter measure seeks to address the threat of the more transmissible Delta coronavirus variant.
Health experts originally suggested up to four weeks of hard lockdown, but due to its anticipated impact on the economy, Año said the government decided to impose it for two weeks only.
After the ECQ period, the government will assess the COVID-19 situation to determine if it will be extended or not. —KBK, GMA News