Malacañang downgrades lockdown in Metro Manila, four provinces to MECQ
MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the recommendations of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to downgrade the current Enhanced Community Quarantine to Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine for Metro Manila and the nearby Rizal, Bulacan, Cavite and Laguna provinces from tomorrow, Monday until Friday, April 30.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, speaking at a nationwide television broadcast from Philippine General Hospital where he has been confined for COVID-19 since yesterday, said President Duterte approved the recommendation after the IATF-EID met yesterday.
Santiago City in Isabela Province, Quirino Province and Abra were also placed under MECQ.
Secretary Roque said the Cordillera Administrative Region, Cagayan Valley, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Batangas, Tacloban City in Region 8, Iligan City and Davao City, Lanao del Sur and Quezon will be under General Community Quarantine from tomorrow until April 30.
The IATF, according to Secretary Roque, approved the recommendation of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) to utilize automatic contact tracing through Smart Messaging System and enhance the use of staysafe.ph
“There will be initial beta-testing included in the proposed message in Pasig City by May 1,2021 and the beta-testing consortium of Antipolo and the cities of Pasig, Mandaluyong and Valenzuela by May 1 with access to the COVID document repository system or CDRS,” said Secretary Roque.
The CDRS ownership will be transferred to the Department of Health and will be integrated with the staysafe.ph system as well as other local contract tracing systems and applications.
Secretary Roque said the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has been tasked to be the overall lead agency while the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) will assure the interoperability and the Department of Health will be expected to assure the integration of staysafe.ph with the CDRS.
Additional hospital beds will also be provided after the PhilHealth assured the updating of hospital claims for COVID-19-related accounts per presidential directive.
However, Presidential Spokesperson Roque did not say whether President Duterte attended the IATF-EID meeting yesterday. Neither did he say how the President is doing after an absence from the public except for video and photos furnished by long-time special adviser and now Senator Lawrence Christopher GT. Go. (Melo M. Acuña)