MANILA – Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has denied reports that Metro Manila will shortly revert to the stricter modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).
“It has come to the attention of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) and the National Task Force against Covid-19 (NTF Covid-19) that rumors are spreading that Metro Manila will be placed under MECQ starting tonight, 19 December 2020. This is not true,” Lorenzana, who is also NTF-Covid-19 chair, said in a statement.
President Duterte earlier retained Metro Manila under general community quarantine (GCQ) until December 31.
“As the President had earlier announced, Metro Manila shall remain under GCQ until the end of the year. Neither the IATF nor the mayors of Metro Manila recommended any shift in the quarantine status in this period,” Lorenzana said.
He noted that the current Covid-19 situation in Metro Manila is stable and manageable and does not warrant a shift back to MECQ.
Despite stable situation, Lorenzana said the public must heed renewed appeals for cooperation in observing the health protocols the government has put in place, such as wearing face mask and face shield in public, washing of hands and practicing safe physical distancing to prevent a spike in Covid-19 infection,
“Let us avoid going to crowded places and holding social gatherings in the meantime to help prevent a possible surge in cases during this holiday season,” he added.
Lorenzana pointed out that the Covid-19 pandemic is “still very much a threat to our health and safety.” He urged Filipinos not to be complacent and let their guard down.
For his part, Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año described as “fake news” the rumors of Metro Manila reverting back to MECQ.
He, however, said MECQ remains a possibility, especially if there will be a surge in Covid-19 cases during the Christmas Holidays.
“That is fake news, but if we see a massive surge in Covid-19 infection during the Christmas holidays, that is possible,” he added in a message.