Metro Manila (pictured), home to the Entertainment City zone of large-scale private-sector Philippine casino resorts, will stay under so-called general community quarantine (GCQ) for the whole of March as a countermeasure to the spread of Covid-19, said on Saturday Harry Roque, a spokesman for the nation’s leader, President Rodrigo Duterte.
Nine other places in the country will be kept under the same restrictions until March 31, after Mr Duterte accepted the recommendation of the country’s Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Aside from Metro Manila, the places are: Apayao, Baguio City, Kailinga, Mountain Province, Batangas, Tacloban City, Iligan City, Davao City and Lanao del Sur.
According to the Inter-Agency Task Force’s guidelines on general community quarantine, published in the country’s official gazette and updated on January 21, “leisure establishments and services… shall continue to be closed”.
Entertainment City’s casino resorts have been permitted to operate at reduced capacity during periods in Metro Manila of general community quarantine. That is according to earlier statements from the country’s casino regulator, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor), and from the operators in Entertainment City.
General community quarantine is a less stringent measure than either ‘enhanced community quarantine’, or ‘modified enhanced community quarantine’. The latter had most recently been in force in Metro Manila for a period up to mid-August.
According to the Philippine Department of Health, as of the start of Wednesday, the country had recorded 2,067 new instances of Covid-19 in the preceding 24 hours, taking the national tally of recorded cases to 580,442, including 12,369 deaths, and 33,610 active cases.
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