Extend ECQ or MECQ? New quarantine classifications for NCR Plus out Sunday

MANILA, Philippines – Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that the community quarantine classification for Metro Manila and four nearby provinces will be announced after the meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) today, April 10.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque. Photo courtesy: PCOO

"I will announce the risk classification of the National Capital Region Plus Bubble which will be discussed in the IATF meeting today," Roque said adding that he is currently in a hospital as he tested positive for COVID-19 again.

UPDATE: President Duterte is still weighing the pros and cons before making his final decision regarding the quarantine classification of NCR Plus.

"The Chief Executive would like to review and check pertinent information such as the Health Care Utilization Rate (HCUR) of the aforesaid area," Palace said in a statement.

"We shall provide the necessary notice once everything has been made final," it added.

UPDATE: Duterte puts NCR Plus under MECQ from April 12 to 30

In an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country, Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal, or the so-called “NCR Plus,” have been placed under the most restrictive enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) since March 29.

The declared ECQ implementation will lapse on Sunday, April 11.

Risk classifications for other areas are effective until end of the month.

READ: Duterte announces April 1-30 community quarantine classifications

Earlier, Roque said the shift to a more relaxed quarantine status will depend on whether the government’s Prevent-Detect-Isolate-Treat-Reintegrate (PDITR) strategies have shown significant improvements in lowering daily COVID-19 infections.

He noted that a two-week ECQ followed by a week-long MECQ is expected to slash daily COVID-19 infection by around 4,000 a day.

Roque said the government decided to extend the initial weeklong ECQ to another week to maintain the critical care capacity of the country’s hospitals.

In another interview over ANC’s Headstart, Roque admitted that a third week of placing NCR Plus under ECQ is “not a possibility” given lack of sources of funding needed to provide assistance to low-income families.

On Saturday, the Department of Health (DOH) reported 12,674 additional infections, the second-highest daily COVID-19 tally so far. It brings the total cases to 853,209.

The health department also announced 593 new recoveries and 225 fatalities from the disease.

The upward trend in COVID-19 cases is driven by new variants, the government said.

Will the classifications be eased to modified ECQ?

— The Summit Express

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