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This Week in Metro Manila (May 16 to 22, 2020)

What to expect in Metro Manila on the first week of the modified enhanced community quarantine

By: Denisse Shawntel Tan | May 16, 2020

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Metro Manila, enhanced community quarantine, Quarantine Updates, COVID-19, Transportation News, Health News

Last May 12, Metro Manila was placed under modified enhanced community quarantine. Along with the change in quarantine level, transitions and adjustments have also been made to provide a safe environment during the lockdown. Airports will now require COVID-19 testing for arrivals. Meanwhile, quarantine centers in Metro Manila and other provinces will now have free Wi-Fi.

Banks can now be more easily accessed through mobile ATMs. In terms of health, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Service Administration (PAGASA) has warned the public against health risks due to an increase in heat levels. For these and more quarantine updates, read on.


Quarantine Updates


NCR placed under modified enhanced community quarantine

Metro Manila, which accounts for 62% of all COVID-19 cases in the country, will be on modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) until May 31. Under the MECQ, physical classes are still suspended and transportation will be limited. Moreover, the MECQ differs from the ECQ in the following ways:

• Industries will be allowed to operate at 50% capacity but are required to follow safety measures and proper social distancing.
• Industries that are allowed to operate are limited.
• In terms of public transportation, services will be limited. Only public shuttles will be allowed.
• There will still be no domestic flights in airports, but limited international flights will be allowed.
• Inbound travels will be controlled.
• For private vehicles, company shuttles, personal vehicles, bicycles, motorcycles, and e-scooters are allowed as long as safety protocols are followed.
• Mass gatherings are restricted to a maximum of five persons only.
• Government work can operate on skeletal workforce; others can work from home.
• Local government units can also identify barangays with high COVID-19 cases in their area that can remain under ECQ.

Local government units can also identify barangays with high COVID-19 cases in their area that can remain under ECQ. Cash aid will be given to families in areas under ECQ only.



NAIA arrivals require COVID-19 test

Arriving passengers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) will be required to undergo COVID-19 testing and quarantine when flights resume after the ECQ. The tests will be conducted using polymerase chain reaction technology (PCR), which is found to be the most conclusive in COVID-19 detection. Arrivals who will be tested will be capped to 400 per day.

To handle the surge in testing and quarantine, various quarantine facilities were assigned to accommodate patients. Several public facilities such as the World Trade Center and the Philippine International Convention Center were transformed into COVID-19 treatment and quarantine centers by the government [2].

Free Wi-Fi accessible in quarantine centers

Quarantine centers in Metro Manila and other provinces will now have access to free Wi-Fi. Initiated by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), Wi-Fi spots were set up at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum (RMC), the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), and the World Trade Center Metro Manila (WTCMM) in Pasay City [3]. According to DICT, the free internet connection will be helpful to health workers when it comes to submitting reports. Frontliners and patients can also use the Wi-Fi to keep in touch with their loved ones.



Wi-Fi services will also be offered in the following quarantine centers outside Metro Manila: Dagupan City Astrodome in Pangasinan; New Clark City – Athletes Village in Capas, Tarlac; City Rest Drive Inn in Tuguegarao City, Cagayan; Sacred Heart School for Boys in Cebu City; and Ateneo de Zamboanga – Lantaka Campus in Zamboanga City.


Transportation News: LTO extends the validity of expired driver’s licenses by 2 months


The Land Transportation Office (LTO) has extended the validity of driver’s licenses that expired during the ECQ by two months. Applicants were requested to process their license renewal before the end of the grace period to avoid overcrowding at LTO offices [4]. After the ECQ, the LTO will limit its operations in observance of health protocols. Along with the extension, penalties will be waived for late renewals. In addition to these, the LTO would also like to warn the public against fixers pretending to conduct license renewal and registration for motor vehicles.


Banking and Remittance Center: Banks roll out “ATM on wheels”


Several of the country’s major banks have deployed “ATM on wheels” or pop-up outlets to provide cash and other banking services. The ATM on wheels will be placed in areas with closed branches or those with no nearby ATMs.



BDO has deployed its ATM on wheels service to allow clients to conduct transactions such as balance inquiry, cash withdrawal, cash advance, cash card reload, prepaid mobile reload, fund transfer, donation, third party fund transfer, activation of online banking enrollment, and pin change. Union Bank, Philippine National Bank, and RCBC also provide easier banking access to different areas in the country. RCBC has the ATM Go program, which can also help disburse the government’s cash assistance for the poor. Union Bank’s “bank on wheels” can also provide basic banking services—even account opening [5].


Health News


Heat nears dangerous levels; risk of heatstroke increases

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) warns the public against health risks as heat nears dangerous levels in the country. Along with staying hydrated, PAGASA reminded the public to reduce physical activity during midday to prevent heat stress. PAGASA also recorded the highest temperature this summer—40.1°C in May 9—in Echague, Isabela. Tuguegarao City, Tarlac, and Muñoz also reached high temperatures.

PAGASA also stated that recorded heat levels in the country were nearing dangerous levels. According to the weather bureau, heat indices ranging from 41 °C to 54 °C can increase the possibility of heat cramps and heat exhaustion, which can lead to heatstroke [6].



Navotas LGU launches online consultation and telemedicine program

In Navotas City, the local government launched two programs to give accessible health services to residents even while they are at home [7]. Residents can now avail the services of the LGU’s online consultation and telemedicine program, e-Konsulta. It gives expert health and medical advice to residents via Facebook messages, text messages, and call. Each barangay in the city will also have designated contact numbers and Facebook accounts. Residents can reach out from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM daily.

The city public community information office also said that medicines, prescriptions, and laboratory requests will be delivered from house to house. However, this will also depend on the patient's location and availability of health workers on duty.


Go to Yoorekka for more COVID-19 updates in Metro Manila.



Sources:
[1] https://bit.ly/3bt6fVC
[2] https://bit.ly/2WPxIfc
[3] https://bit.ly/2WQ62Xr
[4] https://bit.ly/2YWs4dE
[5] https://bit.ly/2yK75Am
[6] https://bit.ly/35SuXxK
[7] https://bit.ly/2zuKNCG

Metro Manila, enhanced community quarantine, Quarantine Updates, COVID-19, Transportation News, Health News

Last May 12, Metro Manila was placed under modified enhanced community quarantine. Along with the change in quarantine level, transitions and adjustments have also been made to provide a safe environment during the lockdown. Airports will now require COVID-19 testing for arrivals. Meanwhile, quarantine centers in Metro Manila and other provinces will now have free Wi-Fi.

Banks can now be more easily accessed through mobile ATMs. In terms of health, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Service Administration (PAGASA) has warned the public against health risks due to an increase in heat levels. For these and more quarantine updates, read on.


Quarantine Updates


NCR placed under modified enhanced community quarantine

Metro Manila, which accounts for 62% of all COVID-19 cases in the country, will be on modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) until May 31. Under the MECQ, physical classes are still suspended and transportation will be limited. Moreover, the MECQ differs from the ECQ in the following ways:

• Industries will be allowed to operate at 50% capacity but are required to follow safety measures and proper social distancing.
• Industries that are allowed to operate are limited.
• In terms of public transportation, services will be limited. Only public shuttles will be allowed.
• There will still be no domestic flights in airports, but limited international flights will be allowed.
• Inbound travels will be controlled.
• For private vehicles, company shuttles, personal vehicles, bicycles, motorcycles, and e-scooters are allowed as long as safety protocols are followed.
• Mass gatherings are restricted to a maximum of five persons only.
• Government work can operate on skeletal workforce; others can work from home.
• Local government units can also identify barangays with high COVID-19 cases in their area that can remain under ECQ.

Local government units can also identify barangays with high COVID-19 cases in their area that can remain under ECQ. Cash aid will be given to families in areas under ECQ only.



NAIA arrivals require COVID-19 test

Arriving passengers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) will be required to undergo COVID-19 testing and quarantine when flights resume after the ECQ. The tests will be conducted using polymerase chain reaction technology (PCR), which is found to be the most conclusive in COVID-19 detection. Arrivals who will be tested will be capped to 400 per day.

To handle the surge in testing and quarantine, various quarantine facilities were assigned to accommodate patients. Several public facilities such as the World Trade Center and the Philippine International Convention Center were transformed into COVID-19 treatment and quarantine centers by the government [2].

Free Wi-Fi accessible in quarantine centers

Quarantine centers in Metro Manila and other provinces will now have access to free Wi-Fi. Initiated by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), Wi-Fi spots were set up at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum (RMC), the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), and the World Trade Center Metro Manila (WTCMM) in Pasay City [3]. According to DICT, the free internet connection will be helpful to health workers when it comes to submitting reports. Frontliners and patients can also use the Wi-Fi to keep in touch with their loved ones.



Wi-Fi services will also be offered in the following quarantine centers outside Metro Manila: Dagupan City Astrodome in Pangasinan; New Clark City – Athletes Village in Capas, Tarlac; City Rest Drive Inn in Tuguegarao City, Cagayan; Sacred Heart School for Boys in Cebu City; and Ateneo de Zamboanga – Lantaka Campus in Zamboanga City.


Transportation News: LTO extends the validity of expired driver’s licenses by 2 months


The Land Transportation Office (LTO) has extended the validity of driver’s licenses that expired during the ECQ by two months. Applicants were requested to process their license renewal before the end of the grace period to avoid overcrowding at LTO offices [4]. After the ECQ, the LTO will limit its operations in observance of health protocols. Along with the extension, penalties will be waived for late renewals. In addition to these, the LTO would also like to warn the public against fixers pretending to conduct license renewal and registration for motor vehicles.


Banking and Remittance Center: Banks roll out “ATM on wheels”


Several of the country’s major banks have deployed “ATM on wheels” or pop-up outlets to provide cash and other banking services. The ATM on wheels will be placed in areas with closed branches or those with no nearby ATMs.



BDO has deployed its ATM on wheels service to allow clients to conduct transactions such as balance inquiry, cash withdrawal, cash advance, cash card reload, prepaid mobile reload, fund transfer, donation, third party fund transfer, activation of online banking enrollment, and pin change. Union Bank, Philippine National Bank, and RCBC also provide easier banking access to different areas in the country. RCBC has the ATM Go program, which can also help disburse the government’s cash assistance for the poor. Union Bank’s “bank on wheels” can also provide basic banking services—even account opening [5].


Health News


Heat nears dangerous levels; risk of heatstroke increases

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) warns the public against health risks as heat nears dangerous levels in the country. Along with staying hydrated, PAGASA reminded the public to reduce physical activity during midday to prevent heat stress. PAGASA also recorded the highest temperature this summer—40.1°C in May 9—in Echague, Isabela. Tuguegarao City, Tarlac, and Muñoz also reached high temperatures.

PAGASA also stated that recorded heat levels in the country were nearing dangerous levels. According to the weather bureau, heat indices ranging from 41 °C to 54 °C can increase the possibility of heat cramps and heat exhaustion, which can lead to heatstroke [6].



Navotas LGU launches online consultation and telemedicine program

In Navotas City, the local government launched two programs to give accessible health services to residents even while they are at home [7]. Residents can now avail the services of the LGU’s online consultation and telemedicine program, e-Konsulta. It gives expert health and medical advice to residents via Facebook messages, text messages, and call. Each barangay in the city will also have designated contact numbers and Facebook accounts. Residents can reach out from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM daily.

The city public community information office also said that medicines, prescriptions, and laboratory requests will be delivered from house to house. However, this will also depend on the patient's location and availability of health workers on duty.


Go to Yoorekka for more COVID-19 updates in Metro Manila.



Sources:
[1] https://bit.ly/3bt6fVC
[2] https://bit.ly/2WPxIfc
[3] https://bit.ly/2WQ62Xr
[4] https://bit.ly/2YWs4dE
[5] https://bit.ly/2yK75Am
[6] https://bit.ly/35SuXxK
[7] https://bit.ly/2zuKNCG

author

Denisse Shawntel Tan is a twenty-something who is still searching for her place in the adult world. To keep her sane from the city’s traffic, she makes art and paints with words. A self-confessed DIY addict and audiophile, you can find her making random stuff from Pinterest while listening to her 90s playlist. To get her attention, tell her that you can make sushi.

Metro Manila enhanced community quarantine Quarantine Updates COVID 19 Transportation News Health News Manila

Disclaimer: All articles in the Consumers Magazine of Yoorekka are for general information and entertainment purposes only. Although careful research has been made in writing them, Yoorekka does not make any warranty about the completeness and accuracy of all information presented in our articles. Our content is not intended to be used in place of legal, medical, or any professional advice.

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