NCR, 4 provinces under GCQ ‘with heightened restrictions’ until end-July

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 23) — Metro Manila returns to a stricter general community quarantine with “heightened restrictions” until July 31.

This was announced also on Friday by Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, a day after the Department of Health's confirmation of local transmission of the highly contagious Delta coronavirus variant.

Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Davao de Oro and Davao del Norte were also placed under GCQ with "heightened restrictions."

Prior to Roque's announcement, the National Capital Region was under the regular GCQ. Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur used to be under modified GCQ, while Davao de Oro and Davao del Norte were under modified enhanced community quarantine.

Health Spokesperson Ma. Rosario Vergeire said in a separate briefing on Friday that reverting to tighter quarantine measures is “anticipatory” in nature, and that there’s no objective basis yet that there’s already a surge in coronavirus infections.

First discovered in India, the Delta variant is said to be the driver of COVID-19 case surges in the South Asian country along with Indonesia. The Philippines currently has 47 cases of the Delta variant, with 12 new local cases reported on Thursday.

This is a developing story.