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    Will Metro Manila stay under GCQ in October?

    MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to announce on Monday, September 28, the new COVID-19 community quarantine classification for Metro Manila and nationwide, which will be effective for the whole month of October 2020.

    Will Metro Manila stay under GCQ in October?
    President Rodrigo Duterte presides over the meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members prior to his talk to the people.

    For almost four months now, Metro Manila has been under the general community quarantine (GCQ), except for a two-week period in August when it was reverted to the stricter modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).

    UPDATEDuterte keeps Metro Manila under GCQ until October 31

    In a Facebook Live video, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said some cities in the national capital region may seek for less strict quarantine classifications due to improving COVID-19 situation.

    “Based sa mga nakikita natin na mga numero sa iba’t ibang siyudad ng Metro Manila, meron tayong mga siyudad na gumaganda na ang mga numbers, ‘yung indicators niya," he said.

    “Ibig sabihin bumababa na po ‘yung mga kaso ng COVID, bumababa na po ‘yung rate ng transmission, bumababa na po ‘yung sinasabi nilang attack rate, nakikita nila na ‘yung hospital capacity medyo lumuluwag na, at nakikita naman po nila na ‘yung rate of transmission ay nags-slowdown na," he added.

    Metro Manila mayors will meet today to have a consensus on community classification, to serve as basis of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases on their recommendation to the president.

    Meanwhile, the UP OCTA research group said Metro Manila must remain under GCQ despite the downtrend in the COVID-19 cases.

    The research group highlighted that Metro Manila has yet to achieve the 28-day case doubling time set by the IATF as a prerequisite to further change into the more relaxed modified GCQ status.

    For this month, COVID-19 cases in the metropolis have declined to about 50-percent compared to 5 weeks ago.

    The reproduction rate or R0 (r naught), a measure of transmission potential, was 0.74 in Metro Manila from September 16 to 23, according to UP OCTA data. This is better as compared to 0.86 tallied a week before. Experts suggest R0 value to stay below 1.

    The government is also looking for the positivity rate or the number of people who test positive out of the total tested for COVID-19. In NCR, the figure was at 11% for September 7-13. The pandemic task force is considering 5% to 9% positivity rate for area to transition to MGCQ.

    The UP OCTA research group projected 330,000 total COVID-19 cases in the country by September 30 and between 380,000 to 410,000 cases by October 31.

    As of September 26, the nationwide COVID-19 total reached 301,256 with 2,747 new confirmed cases. Metro Manila had 1,115 newly reported cases, followed by Negros Occidental with 196, Cavite with 153, Laguna with 112, and Cebu 107.

    — The Summit Express

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