Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año stressed Monday that the less stringent general community quarantine (GCQ) status should be maintained in Metro Manila in January despite the threat of the new COVID-19 strain.


In an interview over ABS-CBN Teleradyo, Año insisted that placing stricter quarantine protocols in the National Capital region (NCR) is unnecessary at this time as no new COVID-19 variant case was recorded in the country so far.

“Para sa akin, hindi pa naman kinakailangan na magkaroon tayo ng lockdown kasi nga wala pa tayong pruweba na nakapasok dito (For me, there is no need to have a lockdown since there is no evidence that the new COVID-19 strain has reached the country),’’ Año said.

The DILG chief noted that the country has already imposed travel restrictions on the United Kingdom while those coming from countries with cases of the COVID-19 variant would have to undergo mandatory quarantine.

He said that the government’s current focus is to prevent the entry of the new COVID-19 strain in the country.

The new COVID-19 variant was first reported earlier this month in the UK and has since reached other countries like Japan, South Korea and Australia.

Health experts claimed that the mutated coronavirus could be up to 70 percent more transmissible but there was no evidence of it being virulent or deadly.

President Duterte has kept Metro Manila and Davao City under the GCQ until  the end of the year.

The country has a four level quarantine protocol which ranges from the most stringent Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) to the most relaxed Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ). 

Source: Manila Bulletin (