Metro Manila will be placed under enhanced community quarantine or ECQ from Aug. 6 to 20, Malacañang said Friday, heeding calls for stricter COVID-19 protocols due to the spread of the more transmissible Delta variant of coronavirus.
The policy change came following a call from mayors in the capital region to tighten COVID-19 protocols days after local transmission of the Delta variant was confirmed. Metro Manila was last placed under the strictest community quarantine level in April due to a surge in virus cases.
From Aug. 1 to 5, the capital region would remain under general community quarantine with "heightened" restrictions. ECQ is the highest under the Philippines' four-step quarantine system.
So far, the Philippines has confirmed a total of 216 cases of the Delta variant, of which eight were reported dead.
The highly contagious variant is sweeping Southeast Asia, overwhelming healthcare systems, and prompting the revival of lockdowns and stricter COVID-19 protocols.