METRO Manila will remain under general community quarantine (GCQ) for the entire month of December.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday, November 30 approved the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to extend the capital region’s GCQ status.
Aside from Metro Manila, seven other areas will be under GCQ until December 31, namely: Batangas, Iloilo City, Tacloban City, Lanao del Sur, Iligan, Davao City, and Davao del Norte.
Meanwhile, the rest of the Philippines will be under modified GCQ, the least stringent quarantine classification in the country.
Duterte urged the public to continue observing health measures such as wearing masks, frequent handwashing, and social distancing to avoid contracting COVID-19.
“Let me remind you that Europe and America are experiencing what they would call, some say a third wave na pagbalik. Mas maraming magkasakit ngayon at mamatay. This is a country that is rich na dapat may bakuna na can afford it and yet maraming nagkakasakit, namatay (Let me remind you that Europe and America are experiencing what they would call, some say a third wave. More people will get sick and die. This is a rich country that can afford vaccines and yet many people still get sick and die),” he said.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, for his part, assured that the government has been preparing the country’s health facilities in case of a post-holiday surge.
However, he reminded the public not to be complacent, advising people to stay away from large crowds and gatherings to avoid contracting the virus.
Duque also suggested everyone to celebrate Christmas only with their immediate family members.
As of this writing, there are a total of 432,925 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country, with 8,418 fatalities and 398,782 recoveries.