OCTA fellow raises concern MECQ may not be working as COVID cases continue to rise


Posted at Apr 17 2021 10:21 AM

OCTA fellow raises concern MECQ may not be working as COVID cases continue to rise 1
Vehicles line up towards a checkpoint bordering Antipolo, Rizal and Marikina City on April 12, 2021, as cities and provinces under the "NCR plus" bubble is placed under modified enhanced community quarantine. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA— A fellow of the OCTA Research group on Saturday expressed concern that the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in Metro Manila and four nearby provinces may not be working in stemming the spread of COVID-19 as cases continued to climb.

“It’s still too early to say, pwede pang ma-reverse pero sa totoo lang, we are getting very concerned na the MECQ is not working. We’re just being transparent about the data,” said professor Guido David.

In an interview on TeleRadyo, David said before the enhanced community quarantine was implemented in Metro Manila, the growth rate of infections was at 60 percent. But this decreased when NCR Plus (Metro Manila, Rizal, Bulacan, Laguna and Cavite) were placed under a quarantine bubble and further went down to 20 percent when ECQ was implemented. A negative growth rate was observed by the second week of the ECQ.

But, he said, a positive growth rate has again been observed in Metro Manila with the easing of the quarantine restriction. 

“Pero this week, nawala na 'yung negative growth rate. Suddenly, naging positive na naman 'yung growth rate sa NCR. It increased to 4 percent compared sa last week. Nag-change 'yung indicators, and that’s very concerning,” he said.

(But this week the negative growth rate disappeared. Suddenly, the growth rate turned positive in NCR. It increased to 4 percent compared to last week. The indicators changed, and that’s very concerning.) 

Watch more on iWantTFC

David hopes to see the number of cases decline in the coming days.

“Now, maybe the MECQ is not working. So we will know more, lalo na we will see the numbers today and tomorrow and by Monday, if they continue to be higher than what we’re expecting, it might be na 'yung (that the) MECQ is actually not working,” he said.

On Friday, the Philippines recorded 10,726 more COVID-19 cases as active infections swelled to a record-high 193,000. This brings the country’s total number of COVID-19 cases to 914,971.

The ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group (IRG) said the day’s cases was the 9th highest announced in a single day so far.

President Rodrigo Duterte last Sunday approved the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force leading the country’s COVID-19 response to downgrade to MECQ the quarantine level in Metro Manila and surrounding provinces of Laguna, Rizal, Cavite and Bulacan from April 12 until April 30.

“Ang sinasabi natin if it goes up what’s our solution? We have to have a solution. Hindi natin pwedeng hayaan na tumaas 'yung cases because right now, hospitals are still not getting relief. Naiintindihan natin 'yung kabuhayan ng tao pero when cases are going up and we still have a high number of cases, I mean what’s the solution?” he asked.