Malacañang ruled out Thursday the possibility of a more restrictive quarantine measure in areas outside the National Capital Region Plus (NCR Plus).
This, after the Department of Health reported an increase of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases in five regions apart from the NCR Plus which covers Metro Manila Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal.
In an online press briefing, Health Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said there was an upward trend of Covid-19 infections in Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, and Cordillera Administrative Region.
While the government is monitoring the situation in areas outside NCR Plus, it does not see the need to impose stricter quarantine rules in the entire Luzon, Roque said.
“As of now, we are monitoring the data and we have not arrived at a conclusion [to implement stricter quarantine measures in Luzon. Rise in Covid-19 cases is seen in NCR Plus. So our response is focused on NCR Plus,” Roque said partly in Filipino.
Roque added that the Covid-19 surge in other areas is not that “bad” unlike in NCR Plus.
“We are monitoring the cases in different parts of the Philippines but so far, nothing as bad as what we are seeing in the NCR Plus,” he said partly in Filipino.
Two weeks after being under the most restrictive enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal are now under the less stringent modified ECQ (MECQ) until April 30.
Apart from NCR Plus, the City of Santiago in Isabela, Quirino province, and Abra are also under MECQ.
A more relaxed general community quarantine (GCQ) is imposed in Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Batangas, Tacloban City, Iligan City, Davao City, Lanao del Sur, and Quezon.
The rest of the country remains under modified GCQ.
On Wednesday, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo advised the public to get used to the quarantine and health rules imposed by the government to stop the further transmission of Covid-19 in the country.
Panelo reminded the public to keep wearing face mask and face shield, and observe physical distancing and regular handwashing.