Palace says NCR Plus quarantine status likely to ease further in June
MANILA, Philippines — Quarantine restrictions in Metro Manila and its four adjacent provinces, collectively known as the “NCR Plus bubble”, are likely to be relaxed in June, Malacañang said on Thursday.
This is based on the current two-week attack rate, daily attack rate, and hospital care utilization rate in these areas, which are the basis used in deciding quarantine classifications, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in his briefing.
“There’s a likelihood that the quarantine classifications might be relaxed on the basis of formula but subject to the recommendation of Metro Manila na any further reopening should be gradual,” he said.
The OCTA Research, which monitors these trends, has recommended another two-week extension of the GCQ status in the NCR Plus bubble even as Metro Manila saw a decline of new daily COVID-19 cases to a little over 1,000 — about the same figure reported before the surge of cases in April.
For Dr. Guido David of the OCTA Research, it does not seem to be the right time yet for the NCR Plus bubble to ease to modified GCQ in June, given the still high number of new COVID-19 cases.
The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) is set to meet on Thursday to discuss quarantine classifications across the country in June. The IATF would then make recommendations to President Rodrigo Duterte.
Metro Manila, Rizal, Cavite, Laguna, and Bulacan are currently under general community quarantine (GCQ) but with heightened restrictions until May 31.
The President may announce the new quarantine classifications on or before May 31, Roque said.
Metro Manila mayors, in a meeting on Wednesday, have agreed to support the gradual reopening of the economy, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Benhur Abalos Jr. said.
“Ang kanilang pananaw ay slowly but surely ang pagbubukas sa negosyo. More businesses, activities, taasan ang capacity pero dahan dahan. ‘Yan ang napag-usapan ng mga alkalde,” he said in the same briefing.
(They think opening of businesses should be done slowly but surely. More businesses, activities will increase their capacities slowly and gradually.)
Mayors would leave it up to the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Tourism on what businesses and activities will be allowed, Abalos said.
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