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Editorial | Preparing for GCQ

It has been a harrowing two months under the enhanced community quarantine for all of us, especially those who are unable to earn a living due to the shutdown of businesses, With ten days more to go before the ECQ is hopefully lifted this time, the city is preparing to ease the way towards a general community quarantine with measures in place.

The GCQ has a more relaxed guideline although there will still be protocols to be followed. One of these is that some people are not allowed to leave their homes – senior citizens, people with high-risk health issues and those below 20 years old. Senior citizens have been very vocal about their displeasure on this policy that restricts their movement, especially the professionals who have to go to their offices or meet their social and civic groups.

For those who will be reporting for work, there will be mandatory temperature checks, wearing of masks outside the house, and physical distancing. Checkpoints will remain in place and everyone is required to bring a valid ID all the time.

Although public transportation will be available, this will be at a reduced capacity. PUJs will carry half of its usual passengers and tricycles will only have one passenger onboard. Airports and seaports will be open but physical distancing will be strictly imposed so that there will be no converging of people lining up at the counter or waiting for their flights.

Only those considered non-leisure stores will be allowed to reopen and malls will still limit the entry of shoppers. Restaurants inside malls will still offer takeout or delivery, not dine in as we usually prefer prior to COVID19.

What is strictly prohibited will be mass gatherings like concerts, festivals, trainings and workshops, conferences, tournaments, rallies and parades. All these restrictions can be found in the Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of Community Quarantine issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).

The Department of Health in the region reported 125 cases in Davao City as of May 4. Everyone is looking at the easing of quarantine measures on May 15 and will abide by the GCQ guidelines rather than going through another period of ECQ.

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