Duque believes MECQ in NCR Plus should be extended for 1-2 weeks
MANILA, Philippines — Health Secretary Francisco Duque III believes that the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in the NCR Plus should last another week or two.
Duque said Monday that the healthcare capacity has yet to improve significantly and that the utilization of intensive care units (ICU) in some cities remains at critical risk.
“Kung titingnan natin ang datos, tingin ko talagang kinakailangan ipagpatuloy ang MECQ for another week or two dahil nga ‘yung ating health system capacity, hindi masyadong nag-iimprove pa sa ngayon. Patuloy pa ring may ilang syudad ang may critical risk classification ang kanilang ICU capacity,” he said in an interview with ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo.
(If we look at the data, I think we need to extend MECQ for another week or two because our healthcare system has yet to improve significantly. The ICU utilization is still at critical risk classification in some cities.)
He added that the average number of daily cases in the past two weeks in Metro Manila is still high, even if there are already signs of a decreasing number of COVID-19 cases in the region.
According to Duque, the next quarantine status in the NCR Plus and other areas in the country will be discussed on Tuesday. He said the decision would also be guided by the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force’s sub-technical working group on data analytics based on the latest COVID-19 numbers.
MECQ in the NCR Plus, which covers Metro Manila, Cavite, Rizal, Laguna, and Bulacan will expire on April 30.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque earlier assured that the government would consider the healthcare utilization rate “while checking the nation’s economic health” in deciding for the next quarantine status in the NCR Plus and other parts of the country.
The country has a total of 77,075 active cases of COVID-19 as of Sunday, including 8,162 newly-reported infections.