On Friday, July 30, the government stated that the National Capital Region will be placed under extended community quarantine (ECQ) from August 6 to August 20, as the number of Delta COVID-19 cases increased, as experts predicted.
According to Presidential Spokesperson, Harry Roque, President Duterte accepted the decision after “hours” of deliberation among officials and authorized the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases’ suggestion to place NCR Plus under ECQ.
“This is a painful decision because we know ECQ is difficult, but we need to do this to avoid a shortage of our ICU beds and other hospital requirements, if cases balloon because of the Delta variant,” the spokesperson said.
“In the end, what everyone put in mind was we needed to come up with this difficult situation so that more lives would be saved,” the spokesperson added.
The decision came after the OCTA research group requested the government to impose a “circuit-breaking” lockdown on the region to combat an increase in coronavirus infections in the capital following the Delta variant’s local transmission confirmation.
“We suggested a tougher quarantine because we should be fine if we can defeat this,” official said.
Meanwhile, the government put Metro Manila to General Community Quarantine “subject to heightened and additional restrictions” from July 30 to August 5.
Roque warned the public not to panic buying, emphasizing that necessary establishments such as grocery stores and public markets will stay open despite the ECQ’s implementation.
The government has recorded 216 cases of the Delta variant, but health experts believe there may be more undiscovered cases due to the sluggish pace of the country’s genome sequencing.