President Duterte on July 1, 2020, announced the one month extension of General Community Quarantine in Metro Manila. This is in accordance with the increasing number of cases in the capital region. Among the cities placed under GCQ are Benguet, Cavite, and Rizal.
According to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, the decision was raised from the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force on new quarantine classifications discussed with the President.
Metro Manila has been under ECQ or Enhanced Community Quarantine for more than 2 months.
Now, what happens when ECQ is lifted and GCQ is implemented?
Areas proclaimed under GCQ would be allowed to go outside and work in skeletal schedules. Malls and leisure shops will also be open under restricted operation hours, and a limited number of people will only be allowed inside. There will also be consistent temperature checks at the entrances of establishments, and wearing masks and alcohol use are mandatory.
Public transit system will also start to operate with limited passenger capacity. Some of the industries will also be fully opened especially the food retail and supply chain e.g.., supermarkets, and restaurants for take-out and delivery only.
Under these circumstances, there are certain community guidelines that we need to follow to ensure everyone’s safety. As a community in action, here are some of the safety precautions that we should follow when GCQ is implemented:
Maintain a social distance in public places
Now more than ever, observing a one-meter distance from another person should be strictly observed. Keep in mind that to avoid the further stretch of the virus, especially when people start to crowd the public spaces, one must avoid having direct contact with another.
Always wear a facemask
As a proactive measure to ensure everyone’s health and safety, wearing facemasks should also be highly encouraged. Since the battle from COVID-19 pandemic started, health officials have been urging the public to wear facemasks as protective gears that can help curb the number of infected people.
When using the public transportation, observe the following:
Avoid touching your nose, eyes, and mouth.
Sneeze in a cloth or a tissue and keep a hand sanitizer/alcohol handy.
Avoid touching handrails, or frequently used public areas.
Always discard used tissues and wastes in an enclosed bin.
Avoid handshakes and personal contact with other people.
For those who will be back at the office, here are some of the guidelines to follow:
Always have your temperature checked at the main entrance of the building.
Sanitize your hand before and after using biometric scanners.
Observe proper sanitation in the workplace. Clean the desks frequently and disinfect frequently used materials every once in a while.
Face-to-face contact must be limited; opt for teleconferencing if possible.
Avoid sharing office equipment and tools.
Upon going home from work, there are also certain measures to follow in order to ensure the family’s safety at home. We don’t want to be the courier of pathogens thus the following guidelines should be strictly observed upon returning from the outside:
Do not wear the shoes inside the house at all costs.
Wash your hands before touching anything inside the house. Sanitize and observe the 20-second handwashing method.
Quickly change into clean clothes and make sure that the used ones are properly separated from the rest of the family’s.
At a time where more people would be exposed outside, being mindful of our surroundings and following safety guidelines can save lives.
As a community in action, one is somehow responsible for other's health and well-being as well. Our actions have repercussions and can take a toll on others when health measures and safety precautions are not observed.
Let’s continue to watch out for each other and be mindful of our actions while we undergo this transition. Until there is no formal announcement or confirmation of the GCQ, we as a community, shall do our part in helping curb the virus. Stay safe, stay at home.
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