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Treatment czar favors extended MECQ in NCR Plus

/ 08:59 AM April 28, 2021
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A hospital scenario captured by an employee at a government hospital in Quezon City.

MANILA, Philippines — The country’s treatment czar favors extending the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in the NCR Plus to sustain the “gains” achieved by the government during weeks of stricter quarantine status.

“Yeah. I think it is better for us as the mayors are saying that we need to preserve our gains right now, because the gains that we have came in later, about the third, fourth and the fifth week,” treatment czar and Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel on Wednesday when asked if he thinks the MECQ should be extended.

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“So it is much better that we have this kind of status right now so we can actually preserve whatever gains that we had,” he added.

According to Vega, among the gains achieved by the government in the implementation of ECQ and MECQ were the opening up of more intensive care units (ICU) and isolation beds for COVID-19 patients.

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He said that for Metro Manila for instance, at least 150 new ICU beds have been opened, bringing the number of ICU beds in the region from 781 in March to 931 in April.

“We also were able to improve the number of isolation beds to 800 plus. So in other words, what I am saying is we have just gained grounds in terms of making sure that the capacity of the health system is there, and deescalating this would mean that it is very hard for us to preserve these grounds,” said Vega.

“In other words we have to continue and maintain the grounds that we have right now,” he added.

Vega further noted that while there is a decrease in the number of new COVID-19 cases being reported by the Department of Health, the country still has to be ready for any possible scenario on the COVID-19 situation.

“If you take a look at the number of cases there might be a decrease and even a plateauing, but we have to make sure that we have to be ready for anything that will come. At this point, we are making sure that the health system capacity is there,” he said.

The country has a total of 71,675 active cases of COVID-19 as of Tuesday, including 7,204 newly-reported infections.

MECQ in the NCR Plus, which covers Metro Manila, Cavite, Rizal, Laguna, and Bulacan, will end on April 30.

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TAGS: coronavirus Philippines, COVID-19, leopoldo vega, MECQ, NCR Plus
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