Philippines to boost contact tracing during Metro Manila modified lockdown: Año

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 03 2020 10:52 AM

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MANILA - The 2-week modified lockdown that will be imposed in Metro Manila and 4 provinces aims to improve government's contact tracing efforts, the vice chair of the National Task Force against the pandemic said Monday.

Aside from the virus epicenter, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal and Bulacan will be placed on modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) from August 4 to 18 as virus cases continue to surge.

"Ang purpose natin dito sa MECQ ay 'yung ating contact tracing. Sa Oplan Kalinga, lahat ng positive atsaka contact suspects ay dapat ma-test natin at ma-quarantine," Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.

(Our purpose in implementing MECQ is to improve our contact tracing. Under Oplan Kalinga, all positive and contact suspects should be tested.)

President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday made the announcement to revert Metro Manila and the 4 provinces to MECQ as the country 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 number of COVID-19 cases could reach 150,000 by the end of August if certain steps aren't taken to arrest the virus spread, a researcher earlier said.

Under the MECQ, quarantine passes will again be required and only authorized persons will be allowed outside their homes to avail of essential services, Año said.

Public transportation will also be halted and business owners are urged to provide shuttles for their workers, he added.

Manufacturing plants and other establishments are allowed to operate with limited capacity, Año said.

Checkpoints, especially those leading to areas under general community quarantine and modified GCQ, will be strictly monitored, he added.