Last April 24, President Rodrigo Duterte included Albay in the list of areas under extended enhanced community quarantine (ECQ). This means, the thirst of our wine lovers and liquor drinkers will not yet be quenched. You read it well: Not Yet.
But why is Albay along with Catanduanes included in the list while Camrines Sur which also registered positive cases is not?
Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Chua explained that there are basic standards in classifying the areas. If an area satisfies the basic health standards — that is, there are no cases or, if there are, the confirmed patients are recovering — then it will be further assessed an classified whether the risks in the area are low, medium or high. If the risks are high such as the area has a high population density with a large number of suspected cases, then ECQ will not be relaxed. Otherwise, if the risks are moderate then a modified ECQ will be implemented or, if low, ECQ will be lifted.
The tool used is presented below:
Albay, being home to a number of Covid-19 positive patients, belong to a high risk area and is therefore among those whose ECQ will be extended until May 15. Under this extended ECQ, stringent quarantine measures will be continually enforced, public transportation is suspended and only the essential businesses will operate. In simple terms, Liquor Ban stays and no one is allowed to sell or buy alcohol for thirst-quenching. Only alcohol for disinfecting are allowed.
For that reason, Cong. Joey Salceda (Albay, 2nd Dist.) albeit with a tinge of humor kindly requests everyone to stay at home so that the Liquor Ban will be lifted.