Last night, 2nd of August 2020, President Rodrigo Duterte addressed the nation on bringing back Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal to Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) starting from August 4 to 18. The number of COVID-19 confirmed cases is rapidly increasing, hence our front liners are asking for tighter community quarantine protocols for a span of two weeks at least. The president approved their call for ‘timeout’ as the Philippines’ health care system is already overwhelmed.
The country’s economy is in the danger zone, and business activities should operate again to save it from the worst state. Despite that, we couldn’t ignore that the more economic activities allowed, the more new cases will arise. On the first day of August, the medical community appealed to revert National Capital Region (NCR), some areas in Calabarzon and Central Luzon to Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) as the front liners are now exhausted. They proposed the stricter quarantine measures for two weeks to address the strategies for retrograded COVID-19 battle.
Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III said on Sunday night that the health workers are the most important in this invisible fight against the coronavirus. He promised to give P10,000 risk allowance for private-sector workers, free transportation, and free frequent swab test. Secretary Duque recommended that work and quarantine passes are required again, there should be strict local lockdowns and minimum health standards. He stated that the government will provide 20 Million cloth masks for the poor.
President Duterte approved the MECQ upon the call of our health frontliners, but this would bring some economic consequences in the next days. Under the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine, people below 21 and 60 above must not leave their homes unless they are going to work or buy necessities. Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque announced today that barbershops and salons are close again. Tomorrow the new quarantine classification for Mega Manila and its neighboring places will begin.