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One common alert level for NCR eyed

Last week, the IATF deferred the pilot testing of GCQ with an alert level system and imposed the quarantine classification in the NCR under MECQ until 15 September

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The government will no longer use community quarantine classification in the National Capital Region (NCR), instead it will use a common alert level, a government official said Sunday.

“Let’s remove the usual community quarantine levels in our mind, because from 16 September, we will be following a different set of guidelines,” Interior Undersecretary Epimaco Densing said in a television interview.

“We will know longer use the terms GCQ (general community quarantine), ECQ (enhanced community quarantine), and MECQ (modified enhanced community quarantine),” Densing added.

Under the new Covid-19 policy, he said, only certain establishments and activities will be restricted instead of placing the entire region under a lockdown.

“We will only restrict activities that are related to the crisis, activities that promote close contacts. It depends on the alert level if these activities can be fully restricted or partially restricted,” he added.

Densing also said that under the alert level system, localities will be placed under alert levels 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.

He added that under alert levels 1 to 4, granular lockdowns will be implemented instead of the region-wide lockdowns.

However, the government could still implement total lockdowns under alert level 5.

“The total lockdown will be the alert level 5, in our old language this is ECQ, people will be restricted from going outside,” he said.

He added that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) will finalize the proposed policy on Monday.

“The guidelines will be officially announced tomorrow. As I’ve mentioned, it has been approved, but three issues need to be addressed, that’s why it was delayed,” he said.

Densing also said the Metro Manila local chief executives have unanimously agreed to place the NCR under only one alert level.

Last week, the IATF deferred the pilot testing of GCQ with an alert level system and imposed the quarantine classification in the NCR under MECQ until 15 September.

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