Metro Manila MECQ to prevent up to 70,000 new COVID-19 cases: UP prof

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 03 2020 01:14 PM

Metro Manila MECQ to prevent up to 70,000 new COVID-19 cases: UP prof 1
Members of the Philippine National Police inspect motorists at Barangay North Bay Boulevard South in Navotas City amid the city-wide lockdown on July 28, 2020. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Metro Manila's 2-week modified lockdown will prevent 50,000 to 70,000 new COVID-19 infections by end of August, a University of the Philippines researcher said Monday.

"220,000 ang aming estimated projection sa August pero dahil nag-MECQ tayo, bababa between 50,000 to 70,000 ho ang bagsak, minus, dun sa bagong kaso," UP professor Ranjit Rye said in a virtual press briefing.

(We project we will reach 220,000 cases this month but because Metro Manila was placed on MECQ, it will go down by 50,000 to 70,000 cases.)

"Yun ay malaking implikasyon ng MECQ. Kung magtutulungan tayo, ang taumbayan, private sector at gobyerno at lalong mapaigting ang T3 (test, trace, treat) mas mataas pa ang kasong mase-save natin.)

(This is the huge implication of MECQ. If we work together, the people, private sector and government, and improve T3 efforts, we will save more people from contracting COVID-19.)

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier said he would place the virus epicenter along with Cavite, Laguna, Rizal and Bulacan on modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) from August 4 to 18 following the recent surge in COVID-19 cases.

COVID-19 infections in the country could reach 220,000 by the end of the month if Metro Manila remained under the relatively relaxed general community quarantine or GCQ, Rye said.

His colleague, professor Guido David of the UP Institute of Mathematics, earlier estimated COVID-19 cases could reach 150,000 by the end of August if steps aren't taken to arrest the virus spread.

Rye urged the public to practice anti-virus efforts by staying at home, observing physical distancing, and proper handwashing, and wearing of protective gear such as face masks and face shields.

"Kung gusto nating makatulong sa frontliners natin, malaking bagay na ang stay at home so let’s make this MECQ work," he said.

(If we want to help our frontliners, staying at home contributes a great deal so let's make this MECQ work.)

"Para sa gobyerno, sana mapaigting pa lalo ang testing, tracing at isolation. Ginawa na natin sa Cebu ito, kayang kaya nating gawin sa NCR (National Capital Region)."

(For our government, let's improve our testing, tracing at isolation. We did this in Cebu, we can do it in NCR.)

The Philippines on Sunday reported a record-high number of infections for a fourth straight day with 5,032 new cases, raising the nationwide total to 103,185. The tally includes 2,059 deaths and 65,557 recoveries.