March 30, 2021
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 30) — The Department of Health is proposing to extend the declaration of enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, and Bulacan for one more week.
“Extension for another week was recommended but nothing is final and IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) works in a whole of government approach,” the DOH said Tuesday in a statement.
DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said separately that the IATF will discuss the possible one-week ECQ extension before April 4, which is the supposed end date of the stringent quarantine status.
“We start to assess before April 4,” Vergeire told CNN Philippines’ New Day.
The ECQ in Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, and Bulacan has been in effect since Monday. Vergeire noted they are not ruling out the possibility of extending the ECQ declaration because a week of strict lockdown is “really not enough” to see a significant drop in COVID-19 cases and hospital admissions.
“One week is really not enough. Usually, the ideal for us would be about two weeks. We have to understand that even after one week of this strict lockdown, we really cannot see any change in the numbers, or any change in the healthcare utilization [rate] because that is just a short time,” she pointed out.
“Our doors are not closed [to] this extension of ECQ if we see that the hospitals cannot still manage the number of cases,” she reiterated.
Aside from fresh mobility restrictions, the government is strengthening the country’s capacity to test, quarantine, contact trace, and isolate patients, Vergeire said.
In the past few weeks, the country has been breaking its records in terms of new COVID-19 cases. On Monday, the Philippines recorded 10,016 more COVID-19 cases — its highest single-day tally yet. The newly confirmed infections pushed the total count to 731,894, of which 115,495 are active cases.
Source: CNN Philippines