MANILA – Malacañang on Thursday said it is “not impossible” for Metro Manila to shift to modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) by November following a decrease in coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases in the region.
This after Metro Manila Council (MMC) chairman and Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez said Metro Manila may shift to the MGCQ by November if the drop in Covid-19 infections is sustained.
“It is not an impossibility dahil talaga naman pong napababa natin (because we have really lowered our figures),” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a virtual presser.
Roque, however, said the shift to the most relaxed quarantine status would still depend on the citizens.
“Pero nasa kababayan pa rin natin iyan sa Metro Manila. Alam na po natin ang dapat gawin – mask, hugas, iwas gaya ng sinasabi ng ating Presidente doon sa ating ‘Ingat Buhay Para sa Kabuhayan’ campaign (It’s still up to the people of Metro Manila. We know what we have to do: Wear face masks, wash our hands, and practice physical distancing like what the President says in our ‘Ingat Buhay Para sa Kabuhayan’),” he said.
According to Roque, no one can predict when the Covid-19 rate of infection will slow down.
“Well, bumababa po ang numero pero (Our cases are decreasing but) no one can predict po when we can actually flatten the curve,” he said.
He said it is more important to ensure that the country’s healthcare system is not overwhelmed.
“Ang importante po hindi po nao-overwhelm ang ating healthcare system dahil kapag na-overwhelm po ‘yan, ibig sabihin ang mga magkakasakit sa kalye na lang ‘yan ilalagay (What’s important is our healthcare system is not overwhelmed because if that happens, those who will get sick will have to be placed on the streets),” he added.
Earlier, Roque said the country has successfully improved its healthcare capacity and is doing “a good job” battling the pandemic.
Metro Manila is currently under general community quarantine (GCQ) until October 31.
As of September 30, data from the health department’s Covid-19 tracker showed that Metro Manila has logged 163,780 Covid-19 cases, with 2,674 deaths and 138,708 recoveries.
Quezon City has the most number of Covid-19 cases at 26,431, followed by Manila with 17,464 cases; and Caloocan City with 9,794.
Nationwide, the total number of Covid-10 cases reached 314,079 with 254,223 recoveries and 5,562 deaths as of October 1. (PNA)