Duque ‘crossing fingers’ on possible shift of Metro Manila to GCQ by mid-May
MANILA, Philippines — Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said he is “crossing [his] fingers” that Metro Manila will be able to shift to a general community quarantine (GCQ) after two weeks, stressing though this would only happen if transmission of the new coronavirus in the region goes down.
“I’m crossing my fingers,” he said in an interview over ABS-CBN News Channel on Friday when asked if he thinks the National Capital Region (NCR) can already be placed under a less stringent quarantine classification by mid-May.
“That’s why we have to really monitor very closely how the cases are trending,” he added.
The modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in the “NCR Plus” covering Metro Manila, Bulacan, Laguna, Cavite, and Rizal was extended until May 14.
Before this, NCR Plus already underwent a two-week enhanced community quarantine from March 29 until April 11. It was later downgraded to MECQ from April 12 to April 30.
“Now kasi, nakikita natin bumababa [‘yung cases]. For NCR, there is incontrovertible evidence to show it’s going down,” Duque said.
“But whether this is going to be sustained is another thing, that’s why the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases) has really egged the LGUs to really intensify the prevention, early detection, isolation, treatment measures or interventions,” he added.
On Thursday, the Philippines logged 8,276 additional infections, pushing the country’s COVID-19 tally to 1,028,738.
Of this number, 69,354 are active cases while 942,239 have recovered. The death toll stands at 17,145.
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