A return to a strengthened modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) is not likely to happen, according to Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III.

In an interview with GMA’s Unang Balita on Friday (March 26), Densing said the possibility of reverting back to an MECQ period wasn’t even considered during a meeting convened by the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) on Thursday (March 25). 

“Nag-meeting lang kahapon ang IATF. Hindi po ‘yan pinag-usapan. Kung titignan natin ‘yung policy directive ng mga nakaraang IATF meeting, mukhang malabong babalik tayo sa MECQ,” he shared. 

Densing’s remarks were directed towards those who are proposing for a four-week MECQ to be imposed to effectively curb the spread of COVID-19 infections, which has seen a significant increase since the start of March. 

On Thursday, the University of the Philippines’ OCTA Research team suggested putting the National Capital Region under MECQ for a period of one month. 

It will include the newly created general community quarantine (GCQ) ‘bubble,’ which is comprised of Metro Manila, Laguna, Bulacan, Cavite, and Rizal. The said areas have been under GCQ since March 22 and will stay that way until April 4. 

According to Prof. Ranjit Rye of the OCTA Research group, the four-week lockdown will help in slowing down the spread of the virus and will successfully ‘knock it out.’

“But really po, if we want to end this, and we want to slow this down into a manageable level, the worst surge in the country’s history as far as fighting this COVID-19 is concerned, then maybe an MECQ of 2 weeks will really do it. It will slow it down,” he said in a live press briefing yesterday (March 25).

“For four weeks, it will really knock it out. We will knock it out. Tamang tama, pagkapasok ng bakuna by that time, magandang timing,” Rye added.

Despite the calls, Densing echoed the government’s firm stance on the issue, which focuses on a balance between an operational economy and complementary quarantine measures. 

In their latest infections tally (March 25), the Department of Health (DOH) has recorded a daily increase of 8,773 COVID-19 infections, which brings the total active number of cases in the Philippines to 99,891.

You can watch DILG Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III’s full interview below. 

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