Get to know the new quarantine status in the country’s battle against COVID-19.
President Rodrigo Duterte has announced that the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) will be extended until May 15, 2020 in specific areas as response to the COVID-19 threat. Meanwhile, a new quarantine status has been assigned to other places, which have been placed under general community quarantine (GCQ). Both forms of quarantine follow almost the same precautionary measures, but what exactly is the difference between GCQ and ECQ? And what places will be under each form of quarantine? Read on to see how the two compare, as well as the new quarantine status in various Philippine areas.
General Community Quarantine
When an area is under general community quarantine, it means that the place will be observing more relaxed measures compared to the ECQ. These guidelines will be followed under the general community quarantine:
• All ports and airplanes will be opened for transportation of goods
• Children below 20 years old and senior citizens aged 60 years old and above and those with health risks will be advised to stay at home
• Non-leisure shops and shopping centers may partially open
• High school and higher education institutes may finish and give credentials to students
• 100% opening of agriculture, fisheries, and forestry
• Priority and essential construction projects may resume in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Department of Public Works and Highways
• The general population may go out of their homes but only to buy basic essentials
• Public transportation may continue to operate but at a reduced capacity
• Curfew at night will be implemented for non-workers
• Workers in low-risk industries may continue to work or operate in phases
Areas Under General Community Quarantine
According to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, low to moderate-risk provinces will be placed under general community quarantine. These areas have low to moderate spread of COVID-19 cases, and will observe GCQ that may lead to normalization. Below are the places that are classified to have low to moderate risk and are under GCQ starting May 1.
However, not all moderate-risk areas will be placed under GCQ. The quarantine status of these moderate-risk provinces are still being evaluated for GCQ or ECQ:
• Ilocos Norte
• La Union
• Nueva Vizcaya
• Camarines Sur
• Western Samar
• Zamboanga del Sur
• Lanao del Norte
• Misamis Occidental
• Misamis Oriental
• North Cotabato
• South Cotabato
Enhanced Community Quarantine
Luzon has been placed under enhanced community quarantine for more than a month now. Compared to the general community quarantine, guidelines under ECQ are stricter. This limits the movement of the people, shortens the operating hours of and even temporarily closes down specific businesses, and prohibits the use of mass transportation.
Areas Under Enhanced Community Quarantine
Places in and out of Luzon that are high-risk or are continuously reporting high cases of COVID-19 will remain under ECQ until May 15. Here are the following places still under this form of quarantine:
• National Capital Region
• Nueva Ecija
• Island of Mindoro (Oriental Mindoro and Occidental Mindoro)
These areas under ECQ would undergo evaluation if restrictions can be relaxed starting May 16. A minimum health standard will also be implemented starting April 27. Roque said that the high-risk assessment of provinces including Benguet, Pangasinan, Tarlac, Zambales, Antique, Iloilo, Cebu, Cebu City, Davao del Norte, Davao de Oro, and Davao City will still be reviewed and may change before April 30, 2020. The country currently has a total of 6,981 cases including 462 deaths and 722 recoveries.
Go to Yoorekka for more useful local information during this pandemic.
About Antonette Louise Guiao
Antonette is a writer, a night owl, an extrovert, and a BTS ARMY. Her spare time is consumed by drawing digital vector art, sleeping, binge-watching Netflix series, and learning how to cook. An adventurer by heart, she aspires to travel the world with her family, try extreme outdoor activities, and taste all sorts of food in different countries.
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