DOH recommends one-week lockdown extension in NCR+

MANILA. Police check the ID of a motorcycle rider on the first day of a new lockdown to tame transmission of Covid-19 in the NCR, Bulacam Cavite, Laguna and Rizal. (Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo)
MANILA. Police check the ID of a motorcycle rider on the first day of a new lockdown to tame transmission of Covid-19 in the NCR, Bulacam Cavite, Laguna and Rizal. (Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo)

AS coronavirus infections have continued to increase, the Department of Health (DOH) has recommended a one-week extension of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the National Capital Region plus.

DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) is assessing the economic impact of a potentially longer lockdown.

“The ideal would really be two weeks so that we can be able to see that effect that we would want,” Vergeire said in a television interview on Tuesday, March 30, 2021.

Vergerie said the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases will assess their recommendation and render a decision before Sunday, April 4.

NCR and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal, dubbed as NCR plus, is under ECQ for the Holy Week from March 29 to April 4.

On Monday, March 29, the DOH recorded a new record high of 10,016 coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases. More than half of these were from NCR plus.

Professor Guido David, Octa Research fellow, said the tighter restrictions have reduced the reproduction number (R0) to 1.86 from last week’s 2.05.

“Significant naman ‘yung decrease and in fact naka-two days pa lang tayo ng ECQ. We’re expecting na bababa ‘yung reproduction number by the end of the week, baka nasa 1.4 na lang siya or 1.3,” David said in a television interview.

The reproduction number refers to the number of people infected by a Covid-19 patient.

This does not necessarily mean, however, that Covid-19 cases are on a downtrend.

“The fact na greater than 1 ‘yung reproduction number, it means tumataas pa rin ‘yung bilang ng kaso so kukulangin pa rin 'yung one week para sa mga hospitals natin,” he added. (SunStar Philippines)

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