Palace: Metro Manila shifting to MGCQ a ‘remote possibility’
MANILA, Philippines — Metro Manila shifting to the most lenient lockdown measure or modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) is only a “remote possibility” even if the critical care capacity for COVID-19 patients improves, Malacañang said Thursday.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Metro Manila’s COVID-19 case doubling rate remains at nine days, faster than the 28-day requirement for areas to be placed under MGCQ.
“Ang aking prediction po, wag lang lumala yung case doubling time, mag-improve pa sana ng kaunti, baka meron pang possibility na mag-MGCQ na dahil napakalaki na ng critical care capacity ng Metro Manila with additional 250-bed capacity to the existing 1,500 lang naman na ICU [intensive care unit],” Roque said in an online briefing.
(My prediction, hoping that the case doubling time doesn’t escalate and improves a little bit, maybe there is a possibility that we go MGCQ and because the critical care capacity in Metro Manila remains huge with additional 250-bed capacity to the existing 1,500 in the ICU.)
Roque later on clarified he was only “speculating” and that the decision to place Metro Manila to MGCQ is still up to the government’s COVID-19 task force.
“Let me correct, I was just speculating. It’s the decision of the IATF [Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases],” Roque said.
Metro Manila is currently under MECQ or modified enhanced community quarantine, which took effect on August 4, and will last for 15 days until August 18.
If shifting to MGCQ is only anchored on the critical care capacity, Roque said it might be possible given that the government will soon inaugurate more beds for COVID-19 patients.
“Kaya lang yung isa pang factor, yung case doubling rate. Kinakailangan humaba din ang case doubling rate e sa ngayon, nasa nine [days] po pero ang kinakailangan para sa MGCQ is at least 28 days,” Roque explained.
(But the other factor is the case doubling rate. It needs to be prolonged. As of now, it is nine days and to shift to MGCQ, a doubling rate of at least 28 days is needed.)
“So, okay fine, it’s a remote possibility,” he added.
There are 79,374 COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila, according to the Department of Health’s tracker.
This is more than half of the 143,749 COVID-19 cases nationwide, which includes 2,404 deaths and 68,997 recoveries.
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