The modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) classification over the NCR bubble should be extended by another week or two, according to Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III. 

Duque says the extension of the MECQ will help in further curbing the COVID-19 cases in the NCR Plus region. 

The region consists of areas in Greater Manila – Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal – which will be placed under MECQ until April 30. Previously, the same zones were placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), particularly from March 29 to April 11. 

According to the department secretary, the current situation is calling for a continuation of the MECQ. He noted that it will be the best scenario for the health system seeing as it hasn’t seen much improvement when it comes to patient accommodation in hospitals. 

“Kung titingnan natin ang datos, tingin ko talagang kinakailangan ipagpatuloy ang MECQ for another week or two dahil nga ‘yung ating health system capacity, hindi masyadong nag-iimprove pa sa ngayon,” Duque told ABS-CBN’s TeleRadyo

“Patuloy pa ring may ilang syudad ang may critical risk classification ang kanilang ICU capacity,” he stressed. 

Although the infection rate in Metro Manila has dropped significantly, Duque argues that average cases in the city – in the past two weeks – are still in the high counts.

Duque shared that he’ll be meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) tomorrow to discuss the quarantine classification for NCR Plus and the rest of the country. 

“There will be a new recommendation from the sub-technical working group on data analytics. What we are looking at is the number of cases per 100,000 population,” he said. 

At the moment, the Philippines has 74,623 active cases of COVID-19 with daily cases of 8, 929. 

You can listen to the rest of the interview below. 

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Image credit: Dante Diosina Jr / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images