Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Friday said there is an 80 percent chance that restrictions would be eased in areas currently under a general community quarantine (GCQ), even as the government reported 1,531 more COVID-19 cases, bringing total infections to 40,336.
Interviewed on the morning show Unang Hirit, Lorenzana said shifting to a more relaxed modified GCQ would depend on data on COVID-19 cases.
“The Department of Health says it will depend on the analytics but more likely, there’s an 80 percent chance that we’ll be under an MGCQ by July 16,” Lorenza said in Filipino.
Lorenzana, a member of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, did not say whether Metro Manila, which is currently under GCQ and which accounts for the most number of COVID-19 cases, would be put under an MCGQ.
The Department of Health (DOH) reported on Friday that the Philippines’ total number of COVID-19 cases reached 40,336 after recording 1,531 more cases.
Of these new cases of infection, 688 were considered “fresh,” while 843 were reported late.
There were 400 new recoveries, bringing to 11,073 the total number of COVID-19 survivors in the country.
The death toll due to the virus increased to 1,280 with six new fatalities.
As of June 30, the Philippines had 67 accredited COVID-19 testing laboratories which have tested 681,667 individuals.
DOH data on July 1 showed that 481 or 36.32 percent of ICU beds and 3,805 or 40.78 percent of isolation beds are occupied nationwide, and 449 or 22.45 percent of mechanical ventilators are in use.
While Metro Manila is still the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, Region 7’s Cebu province and Cebu City have been identified as hotspots.
Because of this, Cebu City remains under a strict enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
The Paranaque City government, meanwhile, imposed a three-day lockdown in some areas of Barangay BF Homes where at least 55 persons were infected with COVID-19.
The lockdown was enforced starting Friday upon the recommendation of city government and barangay officials, said Mayor Edwin Olivarez.
Areas covered by the lockdown include Purok 1 and 2 in Clinicville; J. Marquez Compound; Apple Street, Chico Street, Dalandan Street and Calamansi Street, all in Sampaloc Site 2; Purok 3 and Purok 3A, Aratiles 1 and 2, all in Masville; and Target Range 1.
As of July 2, the city government recorded 1,129 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 767 recoveries and 59 deaths.
Olivarez said mass swab testing, flushing and disinfection would be done during the lockdown period in the affected areas.
The Quezon City government, meanwhile, has immediately stopped the operations of six construction companies for health and safety violations, and a seventh after its workers tested positive for COVID-19.
The firms have been required to complete quarantine protocols for 14 days, and pass further assessment to ensure compliance with health and safety standards before they can resume on-site construction activities.
Dr. Rolando Cruz, Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit chief, said employees who tested positive were brought to the HOPE community-care facilities, while those who were exposed were isolated and put under quarantine on-site.
”No one is allowed to leave the affected construction sites and establishments for 14 days,” said Cruz.
While the city wants to jumpstart the economy, Mayor Joy Belmonte said it cannot afford to be complacent as this could lead to a sudden rise in COVID-19 cases.
“We want to err on the side of caution. Much as we would want to revive the city’s economy, we cannot just set aside the issue of health that could affect many people,” she added.