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As a result of pleas from doctors and frontliners, a strict lockdown returns to Metro Manila. Manila, Laguna, Cavite, Rizal, and Bulacan will be under modified enhanced community quarantine, MECQ, from August 4 to 18.

Strict Lockdown Returns to Metro Manila

After discussions with the medical community, Duterte approved the MECQ’s return. Medical professionals believe the Philippines is losing its battle against the coronavirus. The capital region was supposed to remain under general community quarantine from August 1 to 15.

Furthermore, in a report from Rappler.com, healthcare personnel, in a letter issued to Duterte stated, “Healthcare workers are united in sounding off a distress signal to the nation – our healthcare system has been overwhelmed…. We are waging a losing battle against COVID-19.”

Earlier it appeared that the government was disposed to scrap the frontliners’ request. However, after meeting with Cabinet officials, Duterte imposed the stricter lockdowns again.

INFOGRAPHIC COURTESY OF INQUIRER.NET

Public Transportation Suspended Again

Quarantine passes will be required again. Banned again in Metro Manila will be public transportation.

The following public transport services will not be allowed under MECQ: bus, jeepney, taxi, trains (PNR, LRT-1, LRT-2, and MRT-3), and Transport Network Vehicle Service (TNVS.)

Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Chief Eduardo Año announced those changes.

graphic from DOTr Facebook

Local government units will decide if tricycles may operate. However, each tricycle can only have one passenger per trip.

In contrast, only public shuttles dedicated for frontliners and other workers in permitted industries can operate. Mass transport operations will cease beginning midnight tonight.

Under MECQ, only authorized persons outside of residence (APOR) may leave their homes, said Año.

Año said they should only go out for essential needs and services. Required again, will be quarantine passes.

Meanwhile, limited outdoor exercises will still be permissible. Allowed will be walking, jogging, and biking.

Año said malls would be allowed to open but only for essential services.

INFOGRAPHIC COURTESY OF INQUIRER.NET

He added that checkpoints in borders between areas under MECQ and those under general community quarantine (GCQ) or modified GCQ would be established.

On Sunday, the Philippines reported over 5,000 new cases. According to Rappler.com, this set another single-day record. The total number of cases soared past 103,000, while the death toll increased to 2,059. 

The Department of Health (DOH) reported 5,032 new cases as of 4 pm on Sunday, bringing the country’s total COVID-19 cases to 103,185.

It is the fourth consecutive time that a single-day record for new cases was set, following 3,954 cases reported on Thursday, July 30, 4,063 on Friday, July 31, and 4,963 on Saturday, August 1.

With additional reporting from Inquirer.net.

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