MANILA – Traffic remains to be “normal” in key roads in Metro Manila as many residents still opt to stay indoors amid concerns over the coronavirus a week into the region's shift to looser restrictions under general community quarantine, the country's National Task Force Against COVID-19 chief implementer said Saturday.
In the "Laging Handa" briefing on state-run television, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said traffic in “key convergence areas” such as EDSA and Commonwealth Avenue have experienced “minimal” traffic since the lockdown downgrade on June 1.
"Nakikita natin na medyo talagang isa sa nakita nating obserbasyon ay nag-ikot tayo ang ating mga kababayan ay takot pa rin na lumabas," he said.
(Based on our observation, our countrymen still fear going outside.)
"Nakikita natin na though sa Commonwealth may kaunting traffic pero nakikita naming normal ang mga key convergence areas, sa ngayon po umiikot pa rin ako sa EDSA, wala gaanong traffic at nakikita natin na normal ang mga sitwasyon,” Galvez said.
(We see that while on Commonwealth there's a little traffic, we see that it's normal in key convergence areas, now I still go around EDSA, there isn't much traffic, the situation is normal.)
After over two months of stringent lockdown protocols in Metro Manila – long considered the coronavirus epicenter in the country – the government placed the capital region under general community quarantine on Monday, allowing partial operations of public transport and reopening of businesses to ease the region back into economic activity.
Under general quarantine, crossing cities within the region is allowed and usage of quarantine passes are waived except in areas deemed critical. Some companies have also opted to retain telecommuting options or allow limited physical attendance in offices amid fears of virus contamination
The national government is currently coordinating with other local government units to determine "critical" areas which may be placed under a "specific" lockdown level, Galvez said.