MANILA, Philippines (Updated 9:23 p.m.) — Filipinos will have to spend Christmas under quarantine as President Rodrigo Duterte announced the extension of general community quarantine in Metro Manila and other areas.
Metro Manila, Batangas, Iloilo City, Tacloban City, Lanao del Sur, Iligan and Davao City will remain under GCQ from December 1 to 31.
The rest of the country, meanwhile, will remain under modified GCQ.
Under the guidelines of the inter-agency task force on COVID-19, movement should be limited to accessing essential goods and services in areas under GCQ, but all persons are allowed outside their residence in areas under MGCQ.
However, minimum public health standards, such as wearing masks and physical distancing, shall be complied with at all times in areas under GCQ and MGCQ.
In October, the Philippines allowed travel “for any purpose” between GCQ and MGQC areas, subject to “reasonable” regulations by local government units.
As of Monday, the Philippines recorded a total of 431,630 COVID-19 cases, 24,580 of which are active cases.
According to the Department of Health, 5.7% of active cases (net of recoveries and death) in the country account for the total confirmed cases.
Metro Manila has been under GCQ since August following a brief lockdown after calls from the medical community for a “time-out.”
The first COVID-19 case in the Philippines was reported in February and the government imposed lockdowns mid-March.
It has been 259 days since parts of the country were first placed under a more strict enhanced community quarantine due to the coronavirus pandemic — the longest lockdown period in the world. — Patricia Lourdes Viray