’15-day MECQ not enough to arrest rise in COVID-19 infections’
MANILA, Philippines — The reimposition of stricter lockdown measures in Metro Manila and other high-risk areas for 15 days is not enough to curtail the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the government’s COVID-19 response chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr. admitted Thursday.
“In our engagement with health professionals and (medical) associations, we agreed that we will recalibrate our plan and also make use of this 15 days in order to prepare us from this COVID-19 pandemic crisis,” Galvez said in a press briefing.
“As we expected, ‘yung 15 days na ‘yun is not enough to address or arrest or contain the new cases. But we will continue to work hard na ‘yung lahat ng mga strategies natin ay mapababa talaga natin ang new cases and at the same time minimize ‘yung deaths,” he added.
The government placed Metro Manila, Laguna, Cavite, Rizal, and Bulacan back under the stricter modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) status from August 4 to 18, 2020 to give medical frontliners a “timeout” to recuperate from exhaustion in battling the pandemic and allow authorities to “regroup” and beef up its COVID-19 response.
During the MECQ, Galvez said they will visit local government units deemed “critical areas” to properly implement localized zoning or lockdown measures.
Malacañang is not keen on extending MECQ despite appeals from the medical community, saying that the economy can no longer bear another lockdown.
As of Thursday, there are 115,980 confirmed COVID-19 cases nationwide, including 66,270 recoveries and 2,123 deaths.
More than half or 62,173 of the total infections were recorded in Metro Manila—the country’s economic center.
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