Mass gathering restrictions due to Covid-19 easing up: DOJ

By Benjamin Pulta

June 2, 2020, 7:12 pm

<p>Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra. <em>(File photo)</em></p>

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra. (File photo)

MANILA – Positive developments on the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) situation in the country within the month may prompt changes in the government's protocol on mass gatherings, including religious activities, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Tuesday.

"The DOH (Department of Health) will submit new data analytics on June 10, which will be the basis for possible reclassification of community quarantine regimes by June 15," Guevarra said in a message to reporters.

He, meanwhile, said the high number of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases in areas under the general community quarantine (GCQ) prompted the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to maintain present guidelines restricting mass gatherings.

"The prevailing sentiment was to keep the present guideline on mass gatherings, including religious worship to a maximum of 10 persons in GCQ areas), in view of a large number of Covid-19 cases in GCQ areas, especially in the NCR (National Capital Region)," Guevarra said, referring to the outcome of a consultative meeting between the religious sector and representatives of local government units on Monday.

He, meanwhile, added that in areas under the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ), religious gatherings have been allowed to the extent of 50 percent of the church or worship venue capacity starting June 1.

Metro Manila, Davao City, the regions of Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon and the provinces and Albay and Pangasinan shifted to a more relaxed GCQ on Monday while the rest of the country is under MGCQ.

As of Tuesday, the country has recorded 18,997 confirmed Covid-19 cases, with 4,063 recoveries and 966 deaths. (PNA)