Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has permitted the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) and mayors to place the entire Metro Manila under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) from August 6 to 20, 2021, to fight the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant. Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in an announcement last July 30 that the decision was ‘painful’ but crucial. With regard to the financial support to affected residents and workers, Roque said that it would be “most likely, but will still seek confirmation.” The ongoing COVID-19 vaccinations in the capital, on the other hand, will continue, Roque clarified. Metro Manila mayors extremely agree with lockdown to avoid the further spread of the disease, especially with this severe kind. This would also help in preventing shortages in ICU beds and other hospital needs if the cases rise due to the variant.

The Philippines’ Department of Health (DOH) explained that if health measures would not be strictly followed, the Delta variant could multiply Metro Manila’s daily new COVID-19 cases to up to 11,000 by the end of September. Under the ECQ, only the most needed shops and firms are allowed to operate, including hospitals, groceries, pharmacies, delivery services, some manufacturing companies, and business process outsourcing (BPO).