ALL OTHERS WILL BE UNDER MORE RELAXED QUARANTINE RESTRICTIONS NEXT MONTH.
By MASIDING NOOR YAHYA
Only one province and its war-battered capital will be placed under a mild lockdown and the rest of the country will be put under more relaxed quarantine restrictions next month to boost the battered economy despite the country having the most number of coronavirus infections in Southeast Asia.
President Rodrigo Duterte announced the quarantine restrictions for October in televised remarks on Monday night.
Lanao del Sur province and its capital, Marawi City, will continue to be under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) for another month starting Thursday due to Coronavirus 2019 disease (Covid-19) infection spikes in recent weeks.
The province and the city were placed under MECQ from September 8 to 30, 2020 together with Iligan City and other areas due to surging infections.
The National Capital Region (NCR), or Metro Manila, will remain under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) for the entire month of October.
Iloilo City and Bacolod City in Western Visayas as well as Iligan City in Northern Mindanao, which are all under MECQ, will shift to the more relaxed GCQ in October.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, who read the new quarantine classifications during the weekly meeting with Duterte on Monday night, said Iloilo City’s MECQ status will be cut short and end on September 30.
Iloilo City was placed on MECQ for two weeks from September 25 to October 9 due to its rising cases of infection.
Batangas province in Central Luzon and Tacloban City, Leyte in Eastern Visayas will also remain under GCQ.
Marawi City most unlucky
Having yet to recover from the 2017 Siege, Marawi City still recovering from the siege is most unlucky being the only city in the country that remains under MECQ.
Most of Marawi’s commercial and downtown areas were destroyed after hundreds of Islamic State group-aligned militants laid siege to the mosque-studded city in May 2017 and the military launched a massive offensive and airstrikes to quell the five-month uprising.
The military offensive devastated the city, homes, properties and infrastructures destroyed, killed over a thousand people and displaced tens of thousands of residents.
Three years after, thousands of residents still remain displaced with many living in temporary shelters relying on government subsidies for living until today.
Metropolitan Manila and five other cities will remain under general quarantine restrictions with more businesses and public transport allowed to partially operate on condition people wear face masks and shields, stay safely apart and follow other minimum health protocols.
Classes in public schools are scheduled to resume online belatedly on Oct. 5 due to the pandemic. (Muslimedia.PH)