Cebu City under MECQ until July 31
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City will be under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) until July 31, 2020, presidential spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque announced late Wednesday evening, July 15, 2020.
Cebu City is the sole local government unit in the country placed under MECQ due to the continuing threats of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). It was under ECQ prior to the announcement.
The rest of the country has been placed either under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) or Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ).
Under MECQ, there will still be limited movement among residents but certain essential establishments will now be allowed to operate.
This include repair shops, clothing stores, flower shops, bookstores, school supplies shops, and others, which were not allowed to operate under ECQ.
The city government will have the final decision on which establishments may open.
Public gathering of more than five individuals is also prohibited, and public transport, except for government-commissioned point-to-point services, will still not be allowed.
This will be the second time the city has been downgraded from ECQ since it was first placed under the strictest classification on March 28 to May 31.
The first downgrade was on June 1, when the city was placed under GCQ for two weeks only to be placed under ECQ again on June 15, after a sudden rise of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the city.
ECQ was maintained until July 15 as the Interagency Task Force (IATF) focused its efforts on Cebu City by sending Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu to oversee the operations here.
After two weeks under Cimatu’s leadership, the city finally saw an improvement in critical utilization rate in hospitals, an improvement in the coordination between the national agencies and barangays, and a stricter implementation of ECQ guidelines.
In previous statements, Cimatu said he expected the city to be placed under GCQ, but also said there are still many things to be done about the city’s COVID-19 response.
The IATF already said they will remain in Cebu City to facilitate the slow downgrading of its quarantine classification.
Cebu City currently has a total of 7,685 cases of the COVID-19 with 3,155 active cases, 4,141 recoveries, and 389 deaths, according to a report from the Department of Health in Central Visayas as of 5 p.m. of July 15, 2020. /bmjo
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