The government will only place areas under more stringent community quarantine classifications as a “last resort,” the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has announced.

The recommendation was made by an economic development cluster and approved by the IATF in Resolution 76 dated Oct. 2.

“Escalation of community quarantine levels shall be reserved as a last resort to address the rising Covid-19 situation in [local government units’] jurisdiction,” the resolution read.

The economy will also be gradually reopened “in increments proportional to the healthcare capacity of the country.

Earlier, IATF spokesman Harry Roque hinted at the possibility of reviving the “new normal” classification for areas without Covid-19 cases.

To improve the country’s management of Covid-19, the government will aim to continuously improve hospital care capacity, further reopen public transport sufficiently and safely and maintain the current quarantine classifications, the document read.

Only Lanao del Sur remained under modified enhanced community quarantine when the latest lockdown conditions were announced last Sept. 29.

Metro Manila, Batangas, Tacloban, Bacolod, Iligan and Iloilo City will be under general community quarantine (GCQ) until Oct. 31, while the rest of the country will be under the least stringent modified GCQ.

The country has recorded 324,762 Covid-19 cases, the 19th highest worldwide, as of Oct. 5. John Ezekiel J. Hirro