MANILA – The government eyes the implementation of a barangay-based lockdown after the end of the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in Metro Manila on May 31, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said on Monday.
He said villages identified as “critical zones” or with many cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) could be placed under lockdown while the nearby villages are called “containment zones,” and the ones with no cases of Covid-19 are the “buffer zones”.
Buffer zone villages could ease the restrictions on the movement of the people and open some business establishments, Año said.
However, he said the lockdown is not limited to villages as it could be implemented to smaller units such as subdivisions and neighborhoods.
“Mahigpit ang lugar na ito, kapagka inilagay natin sa total lockdown eh wala talagang papasok at lalabas dyan [Strict rules will be implemented in these areas once they are under total lockdown. No one will be allowed to enter and exit],” Año said in a radio interview.
He also assured that more law enforcers will be assigned to the community or barangay that will be isolated.
Año said the decision on whether Metro Manila could be placed under a general community quarantine (GCQ) will depend on the recommendation of its mayors.
“The Metro Manila Council will have a meeting to discuss its recommendations to the (Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID). Their recommendations will also be compared with data analytics or what we call trend — the number of new cases and the doubling rate,” he added.
Through this, he said the people can start adjusting to the “new normal”.
The cities of Cebu and Mandaue are currently under ECQ while MECQ is in effect over Metro Manila, Laguna, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, and Zambales.
The rest of the country is under GCQ.
Malacañang earlier said that the nationwide GCQ may likely be imposed in August this year. (IA/PNA)