The National Capital Region (NCR) is placed under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) until August 20 due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases. ECQ is the strictest quarantine classification that limits movement to essential travel only.
DOH mulls possibility of five-week ECQ [Photo: patrickroque01]
As of August 11, the Department of Health (DOH) reported 12,021 new COVID-19 cases, which is the highest to date in four months. DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that the rising number of new cases is brought upon by the highly contagious Delta variant.
Based on DOH’s data, NCR has 21,940 active cases as of August 11. The agency also said that the increase in COVID-19 cases is being experienced across all age groups. The highest increase in relation to the virus was observed among the 30 to 39 age group.
Vergeire shared that the DOH is considering a five-week ECQ to curb the COVID-19 active cases in NCR. She clarified that a five-week ECQ would not stop the increase of active cases in Metro Manila but will instead help curb or decrease the agency’s projection of active cases for September. Vergeire added that even if Metro Manila implements "higher community quarantine classification for these next four weeks, we will still reach around 18,000 active cases by the end of September.”
Checkpoints are placed to ensure movement are limited to essential travel only
The DOH has laid out several scenarios in regards to quarantine classification, and it provided projections as to how many active cases will be in Metro Manila by the end of September. The projection of COVID-19 active cases will depend on what and on the duration of quarantine classification. Note: GCQ - General Community Quarantine; ECQ - Enhanced Community Quarantine; MECQ - Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine.
- One week GCQ with heightened restrictions, plus Five weeks ECQ could translate to 15,262 active cases by the end of September.
- One week GCQ with heightened restrictions, plus Three weeks ECQ, and Two weeks MECQ could yield 42,050 active cases.
- One week GCQ with heightened restrictions, plus Two weeks ECQ, and Three weeks MECQ is projected to record 58,255 active cases.
"So looking at our projections, makikita natin na kahit tayo ay magsasagawa nitong paghihigpit ng ating mga community quarantine classifications, we will still see the rise in the number of cases,” Vergeire said.
(Looking at our projections, we could see that even if we implement stricter community quarantine classifications, we will still see the rise in the number of cases.)
MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos
“Pero ang pinaka-importante kung masasabayan natin ng pagpre-prepare ng ating sistema at magbabakuna ng mas madami ang hope natin ay walang masyadong magiging severe infections,” Vergeire added.
(But the important thing here is to prepare our system and vaccinate more people in the hope of having fewer severe infections.)
The DOH is also looking for ways on how to decongest hospitals by asking local government units and health facilities to establish a navigation system. The said system determines mild and asymptomatic cases that would be transferred to step-down care facilities or quarantine sites.
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