7 Mindanao areas remain under GCQ with heightened restrictions

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 13 Aug) – President Rodrigo R. Duterte has extended the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions status of seven areas in Mindanao for another 15 days and eased the quarantine classification of Cagayan de Oro City from Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) to Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) beginning August 16 until August 31.

Swab testing in Davao City. MindaNews file photo by MANMAN DEJETO

According to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), areas in Mindanao that will remain under GCQ with heightened restrictions are Zamboanga del Sur; Misamis Oriental; Davao City, Davao del Norte, Davao Occidental and Davao de Oro in Davao Region; and Butuan City in Agusan del Norte.

During the period covered by a GCQ with heightened restrictions, prohibited establishments are indoor tourist attractions, non-contact sports, and courts and venues; venues for meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE), and social events; recreational venues such as internet cafes, amusement arcades, and entertainment; cockfighting; and theme parks and kiddie rides.

Meanwhile, business establishments that are allowed to operate are food and medicine manufacturers/stores; logistics service providers; business process outsourcing (BPO), essential retail and service establishments; dental, optometry, and other medical clinics; mining and quarrying; banks / money transfer services; telco companies and third party contractors; establishments necessary for online buying and selling of goods; 20% for indoor dine-in services and 50% for outdoor dine-in services; 30% for salons, barbershops, parlors and other personal care services; 30% for outdoor tourist attractions; Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) Lottery and horse racing; and establishments with Safety Seal Certificate are allowed to operate to an additional of 10% beyond prescribed capacity.

Gatherings are likewise prohibited, except provision of health, government and humanitarian services; religious gatherings are allowed up to 30% venue capacity; neurological services, wakes and funerals for those who died of causes other than COVID-19 shall be allowed to immediate family members only.

Persons aged below 18 and above 65, pregnant women, and people with comorbidities cannot leave their residences, except for obtaining essential goods and services, or for work in permitted industries while outdoor non-contact sports and other forms of exercise are allowed even for those aged below 15 and above 65.

Those under normal GCQ until end of the month are Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga City and Zamboanga del Norte in Zamboanga Peninsula; Davao Oriental and Davao del Sur in Davao Region; General Santos City, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and South Cotabato in Soccsksargen; Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur and Dinagat Islands in CARAGA; and Cotabato City in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The rest of Mindanao the areas in are under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) until the end of this month.

The National Capital Region (NCR), which is grappling with a surge of cases caused by Delta variant of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), would remain under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) until August 20 while Bataan is likewise placed under ECQ until August 22. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)