Metro Manila mayors want another round of GCQ starting Sept. 1

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 31) — All local chief executives in Metro Manila have recommended an extension of the general community quarantine status while vowing to continue improving the critical care capacity and enforcement of minimum health standards over the region.

Metro Manila Council Chairman and Parañaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez on Monday said the 17 mayors of Metro Manila recommended the reimposition of GCQ starting September 1, adding this was presented to six members of the COVID-19 task force on Sunday night.

"Unanimously iyon pong recommendation ng Metro Manila mayors ay to maintain the GCQ status," he told CNN Philippines.

The Inter-Agency Task Force will present their recommendation to President Rodrigo Duterte, who will render the final decision on the fate of Metro Manila. He is set to meet with the IATF and address the nation tonight.

The mayor also said the chief executives of 16 cities and one municipality of Metro Manila agreed to shorten curfew hours starting Tuesday in order to slowly open up the economy. They previously set a unified curfew in the National Capital Region. From 8pm-5am, the new curfew hours will be from 10pm-5am, Olivarez said.

"Isa sa pinagusapan at pinagkasunduan, iyong curfew all over Metro Manila will be extended until 10 in the evening," he said.

Following their recommendation of GCQ, they said local government units will continue to strengthen their critical care capacity by gradually building isolation facilities to quarantine and treat mild COVID-19 cases and monitor suspected cases. He added they will continue to impose localized lockdowns in areas with clusters of coronavirus transmission.

"Alam natin we have to balance the economy and healthcare... Kailangan nang buhayin ang ating ekonomiya," he said.

Of the 217,396 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country, 120,000 cases are from Metro Manila.