Palace: NCR Plus’ shift to GCQ after May 14 ‘possible’ but IATF has final say
MANILA, Philippines — Metro Manila and four adjacent provinces, which is also known as the “NCR Plus bubble” may shift to a more permissive general community quarantine (GCQ) after May 14, Malacañang said Monday.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said that based on the “formula,” which is the health care utilization rate, daily attack rate, and reproduction number, the shift is “possible.”
Roque said the health care utilization in Metro Manila has been downgraded to the “moderate risk” category, the attack rate is decreasing and the reproduction number is less than 1 already.
However, the final decision still rests with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).
“I will not second-guess the IATF but pursuant to the formula, it is possible. Again the final decision rests with the IATF,” he said in a Palace briefing.
“Ang importante ay makamit ang total health kasi kung iiwasan natin ang sakit sa COVID, o mamamatay sa COVID, mas marami ang possibleng maghirap dahil sa kahirapan habang tayo ay nakasarado ang ekonomiya,” Roque added.
(It is important that we achieve total health because if we only focus on preventing COVID-19 transmission, many people will suffer because of poverty while our economy is shut [due to lockdown].)
The Palace official said the IATF has yet to meet for new quarantine classifications over Metro Manila, Rizal, Cavite, Bulacan, and Laguna, which is currently placed under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) until May 14.
Roque said President Rodrigo Duterte will make the announcement on new quarantine classifications before May 15.
On Sunday, the Philippines surpassed the 1.1-millionth mark of confirmed coronavirus infections as it recorded 7,174 new cases. It now has 1,101,990 cases, with 1,022,24 recoveries, and 18,472 deaths.
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