Duterte extends ECQ in 3 areas of Davao Region

President Duterte presiding the IATF-MEID on Thursday, 23 April 2020. TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews / 24 April) – Three “high-risk areas” in Mindanao, all in Davao Region, will remain under enhanced community quarantine until May 15, President Duterte ordered Thursday.

Duterte issued the order based on the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) in its meeting on Thursday in Malacañang.

The areas covered by the extended ECQ are Davao City, where majority of confirmed COVID-19 cases were reported, and Davao del Norte and Davao de Oro (formerly Compostela Valley). Davao de Oro, however, is still subject to recheck.

Duterte’s order has rendered moot and academic the decision of Davao City to place the area under modified community quarantine after April 26.

The other areas of Mindanao are considered either moderate-risk or low-risk, and will be under general community quarantine starting May 1, subject to further evaluation.

The IATF-MEID said in low-risk areas where there is no deterioration, the GCQ would be relaxed leading to normalization starting May 16.

But it clarified that while workers will be allowed to work in phases in areas that will be under GCQ starting May 1, young people, senior citizens and people with high health risk are required to remain in their homes.

Areas under GCQ would allow the opening of non-leisure shops in malls. Customers will have to wear face masks, undergo temperature check and other hygiene protocols.

Duterte also extended the ECQ in Metro Manila, Calabarzon and other high-risk areas of Luzon and the Visayas until May 15.

During the meeting the President said he has increased from P10 million to P50 million the incentive for local scientists who can invent a vaccine for COVID-19. (H. Marcos C. Mordeno/MindaNews)