As Typhoon Ambo crosses the country, the government will closely monitor the country’s transition from a total lockdown to the new normal.

In a statement released on Friday, Palace Spokesperson Harry L. Roque said “We are closely monitoring the situation in the country as we move from Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) to Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ)/General Community Quarantine (GCQ), amid a weather disturbance in the Philippines.”

The typhoon, whose international name is Vongfong, first made its landfall Thursday afternoon in Eastern Samar. The Category 3 typhoon is expected to exit the country by Tuesday, which will mean heavy rains and strong winds are to be expected over the weekend.

Concerns of how the typhoon will affect the ongoing quarantine arose as many evacuation centers across the country are currently being used as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) treatment and isolation facilities. The need for social distancing is also an issue since typhoon evacuees expected to cram into these areas.

Local officials in Eastern Samar said that they are considering the use of quarantine facilities to accommodate the evacuees, as thousands fled from their homes when the typhoon first landed.

“Oplan Listo” was launched by the Department of Interior and Local Government alongside concerned agencies in order to address the damage wrought by the typhoon and assist families affected by it. — Gillian M. Cortez