Davao City: From MECQ to GCQ with ‘heightened restrictions’

Notice outside the emergency room of the Brokenshire Hospital in Davao City on Saturday, 12 June 2021. MindaNews photo by Carolyn O. Arguillas

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 15 July) – The quarantine status of Davao City has been eased to General Community Quarantine (GCQ) with “heightened restrictions” starting July 16 to July 31, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said.

In a statement, Roque said President Rodrigo Duterte has put the province of Davao Oriental under GCQ, and retained the provinces of Davao Occidental, Davao de Oro, Davao del Sur, and Davao del Norte under a Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) amid the surge of COVID-19 cases for the same period.

Last June 5, Davao City, the epicenter of COVID-19 pandemic in Mindanao, was placed under the stricter MECQ, which has been extended twice until July 15, to stem the spread of infections.

From April 4 to May 15, 2020, the city was placed under ECQ, under GCQ from May 16 until June 30, and modified GCQ from July 1 to November 19. It reverted to GCQ on November 20, 2020 until June 4, 2021.

Duterte added to the MECQ list last June 29 the rest of the provinces of the region for the period July 1 to 15.

Aside from Davao City, Zamboanga del Sur was also placed under GCQ with “heightened restrictions”.

According to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, allowed in areas under GCQ with “heightened restrictions” are essential travel; indoor dine-in services at 20% venue or seating capacity or al fresco dining at 50% of the venue or seating capacity; outdoor tourist attractions may reopen at 30% with strict adherence to minimum public health standards;

Religious gatherings and gatherings for necrological services, wakes, inurnment and funerals for those who died of causes other than COVID-19 at 10% of the venue capacity; non-contact sports, games scrimmages held outdoors; personal care services not requiring mask removal such as salons, parlors beauty clinics at 30% capacity; and individuals aged 18 to 65 going out of their residences.

But entertainment venues (bars, concert halls, theaters, etc.), recreational venues (internet cafés, billiard halls, arcades, etc.), amusement parks, fairs, playgrounds, kiddie rides, indoor sports courts and venues and indoor tourist attractions, and venues for meetings, conferences and exhibitions will not be allowed in GCQ areas with “heighted restrictions”.

Other areas in Mindanao placed under MECQ are Cagayan de Oro City in Northern Mindanao and Butuan City in Caraga Region.

The other areas in Mindanao under GCQ are Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga City, Zamboanga del Norte, General Santos City, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, Cotabato, South Cotabato, Agusan del Norte, Surigao del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Sur, and Cotabato City. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)