Mon. Mar 1st, 2021

Amid fears from a new variant of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), President Rodrigo Duterte has decided to place Metro Manila and nine under general community quarantine (GCQ) for the whole of January next year.

In a pre-recorded speech on Monday, Duterte said the other areas to be placed under GCQ are four provinces — Davao del Norte, Batangas, Isabela, Lanao del Sur — and five cities — Santiago, Iloilo, Tacloban, Iligan, and Davao.

The rest of the country will be under the more lenient modified GCQ.

Duterte, however, said the community quarantine classifications are subject to appeal from their respective local government units (LGUs).

The President earlier warned that stricter quarantine measures or lockdowns will have to be imposed to prevent the new Covid-19 variant from spreading in the country. The new variant was first reported from the United Kingdom, and is said to spread faster. It’s severity, however, is still being discounted by scientists.

“Stay home if it’s really possible. It’s for your own good,” he said.

He earlier urged the public to skip Christmas festivities, especially large gatherings to avoid catching or spreading the disease.

As of Monday, health authorities logged a total of 470,650 confirmed Covid-19 cases, of which 22,746 or 4.8 percent are active cases.

A total of 104 patients recovered from the illness, raising the recoveries to 438,780 while 15 new fatalities brought the country’s death toll up to 9,124.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) is presently discussing efforts to prevent the entry of a new strain of coronavirus that emerged in the UK.

Last Saturday, Duterte pitched for the creation of a new task force to focus on the new coronavirus strain that is reportedly more infectious. SOVEREIGNPH

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