Surge in COVID-19 cases ‘does not inspire’ further easing of restrictions —Malacañang Spox Roque

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Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. announces during a press briefing at the New Executive Building (NEB) in Malacañang on January 8, 2018 that the Philippines has topped World Energy Council’s (WEC) World Energy Trilemma Index 2017 on environmental sustainability for the third consecutive year. YANCY LIM/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque on Thursday said the surge in COVID-19 cases “does not inspire” the further easing of restrictions.

“It does not inspire relaxation. But the announcement as I said is subject to appeal and will be announced by the President,” Roque said.

“Ayaw kong pangunahan ang ating Presidente, pero ang datos po hindi nagsisinungaling. So kung anuman po ang mga desisyon na iaanunsiyo ng Presidente for Metro Manila and Cebu City in particular, iyan po ay nakabase po sa siyensya,” Roque said.

On Thursday, the Department of Health (DOH) has reported 24,175 cases and 1,036 deaths.

Experts from the University of the Philippines have projected the number of cases may reach the 40,000 mark by June 30, including 16,500 to 20,500 in Metro Manila alone.

On June 15, President Rodrigo Duterte will announce his decision whether to maintain, further relax or reimpose lifted community quarantine measures in the country.

Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases met on Wednesday had already crafted recommendations to the President on the fate of the movement restrictions.

Duterte earlier placed the Cordillera Administrative Region, Regions I (except Pangasinan), IV-B, V, VI, VIII, IX (except Zamboanga City), X, XI (except Davao City) and XII, CARAGA, and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao under modified general community quarantine from June 1 to 15.

The rest of the country, including Metro Manila, is under general community quarantine./Stacy Ang

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