Palace: Quirino province stays under MECQ until April 30

THE province of Quirino will remain under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) until April 30 in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), Malacañang said on Friday.

Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said the latest decision on the risk classification of Quirino was reached by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) during a meeting via video conference on Thursday.

“It is hereby resolved, that upon the recommendation of the Screening and Validation Committee, the IATF approves the extension of the risk-level classification of Quirino Province as Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine, without prejudice to their reclassification as may be warranted and the declaration of localized Enhanced Community Quarantine in critical areas, until April 30, 2021,” the IATF Resolution 110-A read.

“The continued implementation of proactive measures and restrictions must be put in place to slow down the surge in Covid-19 cases, stop further spread of variants, buy time for the health system to cope, and to protect more lives,” it added.

As of April 15, Quirino province, located in Cagayan Valley, recorded 1,076 Covid-19 cases, of which 427 are active.

It was announced that Quirino province will only be under MECQ, the second highest in the four-level risk classification to curb the coronavirus pandemic from April 1 to April 15.

The government had relaxed the two-week strict lockdown in Metro Manila and four nearby provinces and placed them under the less restrictive MECQ until the end of April.

The MECQ rules include a stay-at-home rule except for going to work and accessing essential goods and services, travel restrictions, as well as limited public gatherings and business operations.

Apart from the National Capital Region Plus and Quirino, other areas under MECQ are Santiago City in Isabela and the province of Abra this month.

Areas under a more relaxed general community quarantine (GCQ) are Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Batangas, Tacloban City (Region 8), Iligan City (Region 10), Davao City (Region 11), and Lanao del Sur (BARMM), and Quezon.

The rest of the country, meanwhile, will be under the most relaxed modified general community quarantine.

To date, the country has recorded 904,285 Covid-19 cases, with 705,164 recoveries and 15,594 deaths.