President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night kept Metro Manila under general community quarantine (GCQ), while Iligan City will tighten its restrictions from 1 to 30 September.
In his public address, Duterte approved the recommendation to impose GCQ in the capital region, along with Bulacan, Batangas, Tacloban City and Bacolod City until the end of the month.
The rest of the Philippines will remain under the most relaxed quarantine status or modified GCQ.
Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., who serves as the chief implementer of the National Action Plan against COVID-19, noted that Iligan City saw a spike in coronavirus infections due to returning residents who are possible carriers of the virus.
Meanwhile, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III acknowledged the continuous surge of coronavirus cases — which hit the 220,000-mark earlier in the day.
“The daily cases remain high so we should boost our preventive measures to stop the rising number of infections,” Duque told Duterte during the meeting.
The Health chief, however, has previously rejected the reimposition of stricter quarantine protocols, saying that this would “irreversibly injure, if not damage the economy beyond repair.”
The large-scale lockdown measures in March and April plunged the economy into a recession and its worst downturn in 30 years.
Earlier, statisticians and analysts from the University of the Philippines OCTA Research projected the flattening of the virus curve in September, noting that the virus’s reproduction number declined from 1.5 last week to 1.1 at the present.