Recipe for disaster: Joy Belmonte wants ECQ in QC eased despite boom in COVID-19 cases

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Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte wants the city to be placed under general community quarantine (GCQ) with more relaxed restrictions even if it has one of the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila.

Belmonte said economic activity must be restarted amid the COVID-19 threat. She said that if the national government allows it, the city government plans to implement the transition period to GCQ until May 31.

This will allow business establishments to adapt to localized guidelines currently being developed in anticipation of a “new normal” setting due to the pandemic.

“Necessary preventive measures should be in place and the health and safety of workers and customers must be guaranteed before we allow them to operate again,” said Belmonte.

As of May 8, the city has recorded 1,156 positive COVID cases as confirmed by the Quezon City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (QC-ESU), 337 recoveries, and 134 deaths in a total population closer to approximately four million, that includes transients and those stranded as a result of the ECQ.

Under the localized guidelines, business establishments are required to report their production capacities and commensurate workforce requirements. They should likewise check for the health conditions of their workforce prior to allowing return to work, facilitate testing of workers, quarantine workers as needed, implement thermal scanning and social distancing in the workplace, and institute disinfection schedules.