San Juan mayor wants Metro Manila to remain under GCQ

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 30)— The fate of Metro Manila’s lockdown status after August 31 is once again up in the air, but one local chief executive believes the capital region should remain under general community quarantine.

Speaking to CNN Philippines on Sunday, San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora said he personally believes the hotspot region should not relax its quarantine measures in order to help control the spread of COVID-19.

Naniniwala ako na dapat tayo ay manatili sa GCQ… Tayo’y kakalipat lamang mula MECQ (modified enhanced community quarantine), at maiksi pa lang ang panahon mula tayo’y nag-GCQ,” Zamora said in an interview with Newsroom Weekend.

Nakita rin nga natin na merong magandang epekto ang MECQ sa atin na ayaw naman nating masayang ngayong panahon ng GCQ,” he added, stressing that contact tracing, testing, and treatment efforts should likewise be strengthened.

[Translation: I believe that we should remain under GCQ. We have just shifted back from MECQ and we’ve only had a short period in GCQ. We have seen the MECQ’s benefits, and we don’t want to waste them.]

Zamora, however, said he cannot speak for the rest of his colleagues, as some mayors may have different opinions.

Coronavirus infections in the country surged to over 213,000 on Saturday, according to latest government data. Of the 3,637 new infections, 2,030 were recorded in Metro Manila.

READ: UP researchers project 375,000 total COVID-19 cases by end-September

Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal eased back to GCQ on August 19, after having been placed under a stricter two-week MECQ.

With current lockdown protocols set to expire anew, President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to announce new quarantine measures by Monday.