The Philippine Government’s enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) bubble has been effective in curbing the increase in COVID-19 infections, according to the University of the Philippines’ OCTA Research Group. 

OCTA researcher Guido David said the rate of COVID-19 infection in Greater Manila has significantly slowed – from 1.88 to 1.24 after the strict lockdown was imposed two weeks ago. However, he noted that it’ll be too early to tell if the rate of infection is flattening.

“Effective naman ang ECQ kasi nakita nating bumaba ang reproduction number sa NCR. Hindi pa masasabing nagfa-flatten na ang curve kasi 1.24 pa ang reproduction number pero may ilang lungsod sa Metro Manila na pababa na katulad ng Pasay at Marikina bumababa na ang cases doon,” he said in an interview with ABS-CBN’s TeleRadyo.

David warned that the trend of infection will continue, but expects it to be significantly lessened. 

“Nakikita natin magpapatuloy ang trend, we’re hoping bumababa na siya to 1 by next week, by Sunday,” he shared. 

Besides this, he also cautioned minors on new COVID-19 variants, saying these new variations are ‘extremely’ infectious. 

“Nakita natin mas maraming nahawa din na 0-17 (years old), and dahil dito nga sa nakikita natin, ‘yung mga variant, mas nakakahawa sila at mas infectious pati sa mga minor,” David explained. 

In comparison, David confirmed that this year’s COVID-19 surge is much severe than last year’s, which occurred in August. 

“Mas malala itong spike na ito, umabot na tayo ng 5,000 cases sa NCR. Nung August, 2,000 cases lang, 2,400, hindi tayo lumagpas ng 3,000 sa NCR,” he said.

On Sunday, President Rodrigo Duterte announced that he’ll be changing the quarantine qualification for the NCR Plus – which consists of Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal – to a modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).

READ: Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of Community Quarantine in the Philippines with Amendments as of April…

Posted by National Task Force Against Covid19 on Sunday, April 4, 2021

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the move comes after public and private hospitals promised to commit to more dedicated rooms and beds for COVID-19 patients.

According to the Department of Health’s April 11 infection tally, there’s been an 11,681 increase in COVID-19 cases. It brings the total number of active infections in the country to 146,519.

You can watch the full clip of the interview below.

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Image credit: Lisa Marie David via Getty Images