Cebu City stays under strictest ECQ, Metro Manila still on GCQ

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June July 1) — It's status quo for Cebu City and Metro Manila as the enhanced community quarantine and general community quarantine status, respectively, are extended in these areas until July 15.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday announced that the existing community quarantine will be extended for 15 more days to better control the health pandemic.

This came after Cebu City Mayor Edgar Labella said he hopes the national government will place their city under a more relaxed GCQ, as it is the "gateway" of business and tourism in Central Visayas. He added that the city has a recovery rate of 50 percent — better than the national recovery rate of 25 percent.

In his latest virtual address to the nation, however, Duterte reprimanded Cebuanos anew, citing their supposed noncompliance with quarantine rules and other health measures meant to stem the spread of coronavirus.

“Cebu is now the hotspot for COVID. Bakit? Marami sa inyo hindi sumunod [Why? Many of you did not follow rules],” he said.

He also compared the city to Metro Manila, which he noted showed “substantial compliance.”

National and local government officials on Monday said Cebu City is now the epicenter of the Philippines' coronavirus cases. According to Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, the concentration of COVID-19 cases in the country has shifted from the capital region to Cebu City.

On June 28, out of 653 new cases recorded, 391 were attributed to the 17 cities and municipalities of National Capital Region, while 72 cases were recorded in Cebu City alone.

Areas under GCQ

Along with Metro Manila, areas which will be under general community quarantine starting July 1 include the following:

- Benguet

- Cavite

- Rizal

- Lapu-Lapu City

- Mandaue City

- Leyte

- Ormoc

- Southern Leyte

In Cebu province:

- Talisay City

- Minglanilla

- Consolacion

Areas under MGCQ

Meanwhile, officials have placed the following under modified general community quarantine:

- CAR: Abra, Baguio, Ifugao, Kalinga

- Region I: Ilocos Norte, La Union, Pangasinan

- Region II: Cagayan, Isabela

- Region III: Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Angeles City

- Region IV-A: Batangas, Laguna, Quezon, Lucena City

- Region IV-B: Palawan, Puerto Princesa City

- Region V: - Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Naga City

- Region VI: Capiz, Iloilo, Iloilo City, Negros Occidental, Bacolod City

- Region VII: Bohol, Negros Oriental, the rest of Cebu Province not under ECQ or GCQ

- Region VIII: Tacloban, Western Samar*

- Region IX: Zamboanga City, Zamboanga del Sur

- Region X: Bukidnon, Misamis Occidental*, Misamis Oriental*, Cagayan de Oro*

- Region XI: Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao City, Davao de Oro

- Region XII: Cotabato, South Cotabato

- Region XIII: Agusan del Norte, Butuan

- BARMM: Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao

[NOTE: Areas in asterisk (*) are those announced by Duque but weren’t mentioned by Duterte when he read the list during his virtual address.]

The rest of the country will fall under “low-risk” modified general community quarantine classification, according to Duque.

The nationwide COVID-19 tally has reached 37,514 cases, of which 4,639 were recorded in Cebu City and 18,384 in the entire region of National Capital Region.

As the national government pays more attention to Cebu City, President Rodrigo Duterte on June 22 appointed Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu as the new COVID-19 response chief for Visayas. Cimatu brought in hundreds of security troops to enforce the strict stay-at-home measures.

The Health Department has also ordered the deployment of doctors — including “doctors to the barrios” — to Cebu City to help aid its battle against the COVID-19 crisis. This came after Cebu nurses appealed for hazard pay amid surge in COVID-19 cases.