Coronavirus trend, ECQ impact to be determined mid-April
MANILA, Philippines — The success of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in curbing the spread of the coronavirus can only be learned by Mid-April, the Department of Health (DOH) said Wednesday.
Those who contracted the coronavirus before the ECQ imposed on March 15 can have symptoms that occurred on March 29, because the virus has an incubation period of 14 days.
The cases recorded until March 29 or even onwards can still point to cases before the ECQ, Special Assistant to the Health Secretary Beverly Ho explained.
“Ayon sa mga experts na tumutulong sa ‘tin sa data, mid-April pa natin malalaman kung nagkaroon ng epekto ang ECQ, nag-peak or slow down ba ang mga kaso, at iba pang mahahalagang impormasyon,” she said ina virtual press briefing.
(According to experts, it is by mid-April can we learn if the ECQ had an impact, or whether the number of cases has already peaked or slowed down and other vital information.)
The ECQ imposed over Luzon was originally set to end by April 13 but President Rodrigo Duterte earlier approved the recommendation to extend it.
Ho said that the decision to extend the quarantine until April 30 gives the government “enough time” to “slow down the transmission and spread of the virus” and “increase the country’s health care capacity.”
So far, the Philippines has 3,870 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 182 fatalities and 96 recoveries.
The record-high increase was recorded last March 31, with 538 new cases recorded in a day.
It is still too early to tell whether the number of COVID-19 cases is already decreasing as earlier claimed by Secretary Carlito Galvez, chief implementer of the national action policy against COVID-19.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire earlier said that it is only until the country’s testing capacity has stabilized then can it be determined if the number of COVID-19 cases in the country has already peaked and are already on the downtrend.
The country’s testing capacity must reach 8,000 to 10,000 tests a day before the “true picture” of the COVID-19 pandemic can be determined.
So far, it can only be observed the number of cases is increasing on a day-to-day basis.
“Once our capacity have stabilized already then we can already say na ito na yung true picture na mayroon tayo but for now we can say na tumataas ang mga kaso sa pang-araw araw,” Vergeire said in an earlier interview over dzMM.
(Once our capacity has stabilized then we can already say that this is the true picture of what we have, but for now we can say that the number of cases is increasing per day.)
The DOH is aiming to achieve the 8,000 a day testing capacity by the end of April.
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