Metro Manila will continue to be under general community quarantine after President Rodrigo Duterte rejected proposals that it again be placed under modified enhanced community quarantine.
Cebu City, on the other hand, will be placed under modified enhanced community quarantine.
In a briefing in Malacañang, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said Duterte initially agreed with the recommendation by experts from the University of the Philippines (UP) to reimpose MECQ over Metro Manila.
However, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., chief implementer of the the government’s COVID-19 response, and Interior Secretary Eduardo Año appealed the recommendation.
“No’ng una po, sumang-ayon ang ating presidente pero nag-apela po… dahil nangako po ang ating mga mayor sa Metro Manila na paiigtingin pa nila ang kanilang localized lockdown, palalakasin nila ‘yung kanilang testing, tracing, and treatment, at ipatutupad nang mas malawakan ‘yung mga restrictions sa GCQ,” Roque said.
“Pumayag po ang ating presidente na wag munang ibalik ang Metro Manila sa MECQ sa susunod na dalawang linggo pero malinaw po sa diskusyon na kapag hindi pa rin po napabagal ang pagkalat ng COVID-19 sa Metro Manila, posibleng bumalik sa MECQ pagkatapos nitong dalawang linggo,” he added.
The Department of Health earlier said the critical care utilization rate in Metro Manila was in the “danger zone” with over 70 percent of ward and isolation beds occupied as of July 12.
The Philippines has logged 58,850 COVID-19 cases with 20,976 recoveries and 1,614 deaths as of Wednesday afternoon.
UP experts earlier projected that infections nationwide could spike to 80,000 by the end of the month. -NB, GMA News