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MALACAÑANG believe that it is not yet the right time for Metro Manila and its adjoining provinces of Rizal, Laguna, Cavite and Bulacan to be placed under the least restrictive modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) status after June 15 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said it is more likely that these areas – collectively referred to as NCR Plus, will be placed under “ordinary” GCQ starting June 16. NCR Plus is under GCQ “with restrictions” until June 15.

“Ang problema po natin mataas pa rin yung actual numbers, hindi pa tayo nakakabalik sa mga numero natin bago pumasok ang new variants,” said the Palace mouthpiece.

Roque added that before the detection of new coronavirus variants in the country, Metro Manila was recording about 1,000 new COVID-19 cases daily. Even then, Metro Manila was never placed under MGCQ.

Citing June 13 tally by the Department of Health, the country logged in with 7,302 new COVID-19 infections, bringing to 1,315,639 the total number of Filipinos who contracted the virus from Wuhan, China.

“So ang nakikita ko po ay ordinaryong GCQ pero sa tingin ko po mukang malabo pa yung MGCQ,” Roque said.

Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), the government’s policy-making body in addressing the pandemic, is set to meet today to discuss the next quarantine classifications not only in NCR Plus but in other areas as well.

The recommendation will then be forwarded to President Rodrigo Duterte for approval.

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