Palace rules out return to ECQ this March despite spike in new Covid cases
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Monday ruled out possible return to the strictest quarantine measure within the month of March despite a spike in the country’s new Covid-19 cases.
“Sa buwan ng Marso, possibly hindi pa po,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in an online briefing when asked if parts of the Philippines will shift to enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
(For the month of March, possibly, not yet.)
Roque admitted he was not sure about the quarantine status for April, noting the fast reproduction number or r-naught of Covid-19.
“Hindi po natin alam kasi kung hindi po natin mapapababa yung r-naught na 1.9, ang ibig sabihin po nun, ang isang tao na may Covid ay makakahawa ng at least dalawa. Yun po ang ibig sabihin ng r-naught,” Roque said.
(We don’t know yet. If we do not suppress the r-naught of 1.9, this means a person can infect at least two people. That’s the meaning of r-naught.)
“Mabilis po iyon. I really do not know what will happen in April kaya po binabantayan natin,” he added.
(And that’s really fast. I really do not know what will happen in April that’s why we’re closely monitoring it.)
The OCTA Research Team, an independent research group, projected that the country may record up to 8,000 new coronavirus cases if the current trend of 1.9 reproduction rate persists.
On Sunday, the Philippines tallied 4,899 new Covid-19 cases bringing its total caseload to 621,498.
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