Secretary Año says high-risk NCR cities might stay in lockdown after May 15

Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary, Eduardo Año, said that some cities within the National Capital Region (NCR) may still remain in Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) after May 15 due to the continuous rise of COVID-19 cases in some of these cities. 

Just a few weeks ago, President Rodrigo Duterte announced that the government will gradually loosen the lockdown protocols being enforced in areas under ECQ after May 15 so that the employees from select sectors could start working again and hopefully, help restart the economy.

“There are areas already in Metro Manila that are actually improving ,like San Juan and Valenzuela, but Quezon City is still really what we call a very high-risk area with the 1,000 positive [COVID-19 cases],” secretary Año told ANC during an interview.

The secretary further added that while some cities might be downgraded to GCQ and others might not, the final decision will still depend on the interpretation of the data analytics by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).

“Some cities in Metro Manila may be downgraded into GCQ, but we still have eight days to go so we wait for data analytics.”

Under the GCQ, certain sectors of the workforce, as defined by the government, will be allowed to work or operate in phases. However, the general population will still need to observe strict home quarantine and may only go out to buy basic necessities. Leisure motorcycle riding, as well as pillion riding, will still be prohibited under the GCQ.