MANILA - Quirino province will be under the modified enhanced community quarantine starting Thursday, April 1, as COVID-19 infections in the province rise this month.
The MECQ, the second strictest community quarantine, will take effect until April 15, Quirino Governor Dax Cua told Teleradyo.
"Last month, we were relatively low-risk but in a span of 2 to 3 weeks, the situation became critical," he said in a mix of Filipino and English.
As of Monday, Quirino has logged 719 coronavirus infections, of which 266 recovered while 11 succumbed to the disease. The number of active cases is 442.
Hospitals in the province and in neighboring areas are also running on full capacity, Cua said.
In February, the province was under modified general community quarantine, the loosest quarantine measure.
On Feb. 1, Quirino had 37 COVID-19 cases, of which 31 were recoveries and 6 were active cases. No coronavirus-related death was recorded then.
"That's why I think the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) made the right decision elevating the quarantine status of our province," Cua said.
Asked what could have driven the surge, Cua said: "I think the community became relaxed. They felt the danger wasn't there. So, I think that's where it started," the governor said.
Under MECQ, strict home quarantine is required for all households, with trips limited to accessing essential goods or services and for work in industries that are permitted to operate.
Senior citizens, those below 21 years old, pregnant women, and those with immunodeficiencies or comorbidities are not allowed to go out unless there is a valid reason.