Manila could return to stricter quarantine in August

Casinos in Manila remain closed.
Casinos in Manila remain closed.

Reversion to a more stringent quarantine is possible, the presidential spokesman said.

Philippines.- Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte could place Metro Manila back under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) in August if Covid-19 cases continue to rise.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in an interview with CNN: “Yes, a reversion to MECQ or a more stringent quarantine is possible. I hope it will not happen though.”

He added: “That’s a distinct possibility although a possibility that I wish would not happen because we all know that while we have to contain the disease, we also need to restart our livelihoods.”

MECQ is the second highest level of quarantine in the country. President Duterte considered reverting to MECQ on July 15 but decided to prolong the current state of general community quarantine (GCQ) after Metro Manila majors committed to enforcing protocols.

The current GCQ period ends on July 31 and the four largest casinos in Manila -Resorts World Manila, And Melco’s Solaire, City of Dreams and Okada- will remain closed at least until then.

Casinos in Manila have been closed since March 16 and casinos across the country continue to suffer the impact of the pandemic.

Around 38,248 Covid-19 infections have been recorded in Metro Manila, according to the Department of Health’s Covid-19 tracker.

Roque said: “We come to a very crucial point where I think the economy can no longer afford a shutdown anew.

“The Filipinos will cooperate when they have to. And I think the message has been well-received by Filipinos that we need to take care of our health so that we can proceed and pursue a livelihood anew.”

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