ECQ in ‘NCR Plus’ extended for 1 week

(Philstar.com) - April 3, 2021 - 6:31pm

MANILA, Philippines — (Updated 6:59 p.m.) Metro Manila and its surrounding provinces will be under enhanced community quarantine for one more week as the government extended the strictest quarantine regime over these areas in the face of a continued surge in COVID-19 cases.

The capital region, Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal and Laguna — or what the Duterte administration collectively calls “NCR Plus” — will be under ECQ until April 11, Malacañang announced Saturday.

"Karagdagang linggo, minimum of one additional week beginning on the 5th," presidential spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said.

The Department of Health recommended a one-week extension of ECQ in NCR Plus, saying that the strictest form of community quarantine should “ideally” last for two weeks to see its effects on the number of COVID-19 cases and the country’s health system.

Extending ECQ in NCR Plus was previously described by Malacañang as the government’s “absolute last resort,” stressing that there is a need to strike a balance between keeping COVID-19 cases low and not letting people go hungry due to lack of income.

Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado said the government will only be giving out a one-time P1,000 assistance to every poor resident in ECQ areas, which local governments can give “in kind or in cash.” The amount will not exceed P4,000 per family.

RELATED: What we know so far: Aid for areas under ECQ 2.0

The government targets funding for aid to be fully released from state coffers to city and municipal governments by mid-April. — Xave Gregorio

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