President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday announced the extension of the modified enhanced community quarantine in the National Capital Region Plus or NCR Plus until May 14.
During his public address Duterte said he approved the recommendation of the Department of Health (DOH) and other medical experts to prolong the community classification in the said areas to maintain the downward trend in the number of new novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases nationwide.
“To my countrymen, I would like to apologize. I am sorry I have to impose a longer modified enhanced community quarantine because it is needed because of the spike in infections and our hospitals are full,” Duterte said.
He said the extended MECQ in NCR plus, which includes Metro Manila, Laguna, Rizal, Bulacan, and Cavite will be in effect from May 1 to May 14, 2021.
In the case of the City of Santiago, Quirino and the province of Abra, both will remain under MECQ from May 1 to 31, 2021.
During the same period, other areas, which will be under general community quarantine (GCQ) are Apayao, Baguio City, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, Mountain Province; Cagayan, Isabela Batangas; Quezon; Tacloban; Iligan; Davao City; and Lanao Del Sur.
The rest of the country will be remain under MGCQ for the entire month of May.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the new community quarantine classification will still be subject to the appeals of the affected local government units (LGU).
Duterte warned he will be holding accountable LGUs that will be unable to enforce minimum health standards within their jurisdiction, which will consequently lead to more infections in the coming weeks.
“Under the police power of the state, ang mayor, ang barangay captain because they are persons of authority, they are the ones who should be responsible for the enforcement of the law,” Duterte said.
On Wednesday, DOH registered 6,895 new Covid-19 cases. This is lower compared to over 10,000 daily cases in previous weeks.
OCTA Research Group attributed the significant reduction in infections to the two-week enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and the now ongoing MECQ, which were implemented by the government in NCR plus, (