MECQ 'absolutely working' in curbing number of daily infections: expert

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 08 2020 02:36 AM

Pedestrians passing by use a handwashing station set-up beside the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) checkpoint in Bgy. Sto. Rosario Pateros on August 05, 2020. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The modified enhanced community quarantine is working in trimming the number of novel coronavirus infections being recorded daily in the Philippines, an expert said Friday.

According to Dr. Guido David of the University of the Philippines Institute of Mathematics, they're seeing "positive indicators" that the MECQ is effective after it was placed again over Metro Manila, Rizal, Bulacan and other surrounding provinces on August 4-18.

David cited the effect of MECQ in Cebu, where the numbers of new infections significantly went down due to the restrictive measure.

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"Dati 300 cases, ilan per day. Ngayon 100 cases na lang yung average nila per day. Ibig sabihin nag-work talaga sa Cebu," he told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.

"It's working talaga. Siyempre mas prefer sana namin talaga na mga one month ma-flatten yung curve sa NCR (National Capital Region) pero kung 15 days lang yung kaya, naiintindihan naman natin. Siyempre baka di na rin kaya ng government magbigay ng ayuda sa mawawalan ng trabaho," David replied.

The analyst said that, so far, daily infections in Metro Manila and other provinces are "somewhat decreasing" in their 4th day back in MECQ.

"We will see next week kung bababa pa siya sa mas mabilis na pace. Pero sa ngayon, nagde-decrease naman siya sa NCR." 

David said that due to Metro Manila and the nearby provinces' reversion to MECQ, they are seeing that the Philippines will reach 190,000 cases of the deadly virus by the end of August.

"Kung hindi tayo nag-MECQ, ang projection nasa 220,000. Baka higit pa nga doon."

President Rodrigo Duterte early this week placed MECQ in Metro Manila and nearby provinces to heed the call of health workers who asked that the affected regions revert to stricter quarantine measures to give exhausted frontline medical personnel a breather.

The number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines breached the 100,000 mark on Sunday as a record 5,032 new infections were confirmed, raising the nationwide total to over 103,000 then.

The national government chose to heed the 15-day MECQ instead of the original 30-day MECQ call, stressing that the country needs its economy to run again. Finance Sec. Carlos "Sonny" Domínguez III earlier said that 60 percent of the country's economy is based in Metro Manila and Calabarzon.

To date, the Philippines has logged 122,754 cases of the deadly pathogen.