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Some provinces remain under ECQ despite quarantine downgrade

Some provinces and cities continued to implement enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) guidelines despite the decision of the national government to put them under the general community quarantine (GCQ).

About 20 tricycle drivers who resumed operations were reprimanded by authorities in Baler after the provincial government decided to keep the ECQ in Aurora province,  according to a 24 Oras report by Lei Alviz.

Aurora Governor Gerardo Noveras on Thursday ordered that ECQ protocols should still be followed in the region.

Malacañang previously said that only the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases has the power to decide on whether to put provinces under ECQ or GCQ, and not governors. Governors could only decide for their cities and municipalities, while the mayors, for barangays.

Governors also need the approval of the IATF for their guidelines.

Placing Abra into GCQ also remained under review.

The Abra provincial government decided to remain under ECQ after two patients tested positive for COVID-19 using the rapid anti-body kits.

"Mas gusto natin dito sa Abra na mag-extend sana ang ECQ para mas tuloy-tuloy na prenvention, tuloy-tuloy na protektado ang lahat ng mga tao dito," Abra Governor Joy Bernos said.

But should the two patients show negative to confirmatory tests, Abra will follow GCQ guidelines.

The Ilocos Norte provincial government also remained under ECQ as Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc said they have yet to be certain about the security of their constituents against COVID-19.

The provincial board submitted a resolution to the IATF for the implementation of a modified GCQ. The province will remain under ECQ as they await IATF's response.

Davao De Oro's provincial inter-agency task force also extended its ECQ until May 15.

Zamboanga City is also planning to maintain the ECQ after reports of COVID-19 cases in their area. Zamboanga del Sur, meanwhile, is ready to implement GCQ starting Friday.

The Zamboanga City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council said most residents agreed to remain under ECQ until May 15. However, they will abide by GCQ rules if IATF will not approve their request. —Jamil Santos/LDF, GMA News