Palace plans to place NCR plus ‘bubble’ under MECQ after April 11

Palace plans to place NCR plus ‘bubble’ under MECQ after April 11

Tanods (barangay police) man a checkpoint as Metro Manila implements enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) classification. (Photo courtesy by Yahoo)

Sourced from Yahoo by Tracy Cabrera

MANILA — Based on an ongoing Yahoo Poll on the reimposition of the enhanced community quarantine in the National capital Region (NCR) and four underlying provinces and other cities with high incidents of Covid-19 infections, forty-seven (47) percent of respondents said they favored the move with most of them saying it was necessitated by the recent spike in the number of new cases that reached a record single-day high of 15,310 last April 2, 2021.

But close at 45 percent were those who did not agree with the ECQ status for NCR as well as nearby provinces Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal while eight (8) percent were undecided to express any opinion about the latest lockdowns and restrictions.
After Holy Week, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered Metro Manila and the four nearby provinces to remain under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) by another week to see improvements in the initiative to contain the surge of infections.

But experts from the University of the Philippines OCTA Research Group insisted that if the infection rate does not dramatically drop this week, the government should consider another week of ECQ.

But instead of extending the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) beyond April 11, Malacañang plans to downgrade it to modified ECQ or MECQ.

Presidential spokesperson Atty. Harry Roque explained that the shift to a more relaxed quarantine status will depend on whether the government’s Prevent-Detect-Isolate-Treat-Reintegrate (PDITR) strategies have shown significant improvements in lowering daily Covid-19 infections.

“Prior to the ECQ that we imposed, we had a one-week travel bubble in NCR Plus and we’re looking at another week of MECQ after this week assuming our PDITR strategies work at the end of the two-week ECQ and another week of MECQ, we should be looking at around 4,000 cases daily,” Roque pointed out in an interview.

He noted that a two-week ECQ followed by a week-long MECQ is expected to slash daily Covid-19 infection by around 4,000 a day.

“If we impose another week of ECQ in addition to the bubble and the one week of ECQ that we’ve had already, and if we were to impose another week of MECQ, we are looking at around 4,000 cases a day ‘no which is a tremendous reduction from the 12,000 that we have right now,” he added.

Roque said the government decided to extend the initial weeklong ECQ to another week to maintain the critical care capacity of the country’s hospitals.

“It was indispensable that we give our hospitals a breathing space and that’s why there was a decision to impose another week of ECQ,” he said.

In another interview, the presidential speaker admitted that a third week of placing NCR Plus under ECQ is “not a possibility” given the lack of sources of funding needed to provide assistance to low-income families.

“Well, given what (budget) secretary (Wendel) Avisado (had) said that we have no more funds for ayuda (assistance) and Congress currently is on recess. . . So in case we need a supplemental budget, we would have to request for a special session, I don’t think ECQ for a third week is actually a possibility,” he reiterated.

Since March, the country has seen an increase in daily Covid-19 cases with over 11,000 new cases reported on Sunday, April 4.

As of Sunday, around 739,000 have already been vaccinated against the coronavirus, representing just one percent of the government’s target of inoculating 70 million of the total 108 million population.

The government also previously said that it aims to finish vaccinating 1.7 million health care workers by the middle of this month. (AI/MTVN)

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