DEPARTMENT of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III said he was in favor of extending the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) protocols in Metro Manila for one to two weeks.
Duque, who chairs the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, said the health system in some cities in Metro Manila remained critical.
“Tingin ko kailangan ipagpatuloy ang MECQ for another week or two dahil nga ang health systems capacity natin, hindi masyadong nag-iimprove pa sa ngayon,” he said.
“Iyong ibang siyudad (sa Metro Manila), critical pa ang risk classification ng kanilang ICU (intensive care unit),” he added.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr., in his press conference on Monday, April 26, 2021, said the IATF will meet on Tuesday to discuss the quarantine classifications for May.
He said President Rodrigo Duterte might announce the classifications when he addresses the nation on Wednesday, April 28.
“Ang tinitignan natin ay two week-attack rate, daily attack rate, healthcare utilization rate,” Roque said.
Dr. John Wong, National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 consultant on epidemiologic data, said other indicators aside from the reproduction rate must be examined.
Wong cited the following indicators:
· The public’s observance of health protocols such as wearing of face masks and face shields, and the maintenance of social distancing;
· How fast are people with symptoms identified, tested, and placed under isolation;
· What percent of cases and close contacts complete their isolation and quarantine periods;
· How well indoor businesses manage the crowd especially in imposing proper ventilation in their facility, wearing of face mask and social distancing; and
· How fast can the country increase the pace of vaccination to 350,000 shots per day.
“We need the national and local government to report or monitor how well they’re performing in terms of these indicators. Without accountability, I would say that we’re not yet ready for GCQ,” he said. (SunStar Philippines)