Philippines may scale back quarantines to zones by June: official

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 22 2020 12:10 PM

A police officer inspects a motorist at a checkpoint along España Boulevard in Manila on the first working day of the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) on May 18, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA -- The Philippines may downsize community quarantines to specific zones with COVID-19 cases by June, the chief implementer of the country's pandemic response said Friday.

Communities may be divided into clusters and zones based on the number of infections and the doubling rate of cases, National Task Force against COVID-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said.

"We will have the zoning concept," he said in a virtual press briefing.

"Talagang yung area ico-cordon off or doon na lang natin ilo-lockdown sa mga area or compound na affected," he added.

(We will only cordon off or lockdown areas or compounds that are affected.)

The government on May 16 started to ease community quarantine restrictions to revive the economy hurt by the pandemic. It was the first time in 2 months that the enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila was modified or relaxed. The modified ECQ will run until May 31.

Only the cities of Cebu and Mandaue in the Visayas remained under ECQ while the rest of the country shifted to a more relaxed general quarantine.

As of Thursday, the Philippines has a cumulative 13,434 confirmed COVID-19 cases. This includes 846 deaths, and 3,000 recoveries.

Active COVID-19 cases in the country stood at 9,588.