Palace warns ECQ may be enforced again if coronavirus cases surge
Malacañang warned on Monday that the government might declare enhanced community quarantine again if coronavirus disease cases surge.
In a virtual press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque noted the social media posts that went viral where many people left their homes after the government eased quarantine rules last Saturday.
He said if most people would continue to defy the quarantine measures, "we will be like other countries wherein cases of COVID-19 increased after the restrictions were relaxed."
"There are now more or less 12,000 COVID-19 (cases). If the so-called doubling time shortens and we return to two days doubling time, the two days of 12,000 is 24,000. So perhaps in one week or two weeks, all the beds (for COVID-19 patients) will be occupied and we will just place (the patients) on the streets," Roque said.
As of May 16, there were 40,497 total beds in local isolation and general treatment areas for COVID-19 cases.
"If many of us will go out and we will not observe social distancing, first, we will go back to ECQ, because as I said, it's not cast in stone that we are in MECQ (modified ECQ). But if the (cases) continue to rise and we cannot provide the critical care to those who will get sick, we will go back to jail - it will be ECQ again," Roque stressed.
He also said malls might be ordered closed if they fail to implement minimum health standards.
Starting May 16, only Cebu City and Mandaue City have remained under ECQ.
Metro Manila and a few other places have been under modified ECQ, while most parts of the country are under general community quarantine.
In modified ECQ, a few sectors have been allowed to resume operations, but still public transportation is barred.
Under GCQ, almost all sectors have resumed operations and public transportation is allowed subject to certain social distancing and other health requirements. Celerina Monte/DMS