PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the extension of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, and other “high-risk” areas in Luzon until May 15, 2020.
Duterte’s decision was made Thursday evening and aired on national television yesterday morning.
Aside from the three regions, Pangasinan, Benguet, Albay, Catanduanes and the Mindoro provinces will likewise remain under ECQ due to the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, however, announced that the extension of ECQ in the provinces of Benguet, Pangasinan, Tarlac, and Zambales is still subject to “re-checking” and may still br revised. by April 30.
In mid-March, Duterte placed the entire Luzon, home to over 50 million people, under lockdown to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.
It was supposed to lapse on April 13 but the President approved the proposal to extend it for over two weeks or until April 30.
Metro Manila, the country’s economic and political center, accounts for the vast majority of the Philippines’ total COVID-19 infections.
As of Thursday afternoon, the Department of Health (DOH) announced that there 6,981 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country.
4,673 or 66.9 percent of the cases were recorded in Metro Manila. Central Luzon has 353 confirmed cases, and Calabarzon has 1,008.
A total of 462 patients have died nationwide while 722 recovered.
The movement of people in these areas will continue to be severely restricted under the extended quarantine, with most only allowed to leave their homes to purchase food, medicine and other basic necessities and in cases of emergency.