Hours before President Rodrigo Duterte announces the new quarantine classifications, the World Health Organization (WHO) emphasized the COVID-19 situation in Metro Manila doesn't call for a reversal to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).
WHO country representative Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe said in a briefing on Tuesday, "We recognize the impact of this outbreak not only on health but also on the economy."
Duterte had downgraded the metro from ECQ to community quarantine (June 1 to 15), then extended it to the end of the month.
Abeyasinghe explained that "Within the IATF recommendations, there is provision for localized lockdowns. And where we are seeing an upsurge of cases within the NCR, in some localized cities or barangays, there is a need to make use of those provisions to suppress further transmission."
During the same conference, the representative also clarified that it wasn't the WHO that made the evaluation about the Philippines having the fastest rise in coronavirus cases in the Western Pacific.
Abeyasinghe called the claims "unfair," saying, "All those assessments was done by a journalist of the Inquirer in the Philippines using the data that we have in our dashboard like many other dashboards that are globally available."