MANILA — The COVID-19 task force is weighing just 2 options for Metro Manila's quarantine level starting this weekend, Malacañang said on Thursday, as authorities sought to stump a climb in coronavirus cases linked to the highly contagious Delta variant.
Home to some 13 million people, the capital region is under the strictest of 4 lockdown levels or enhanced community quarantine until Aug. 20. The inter-agency task force on Thursday will meet about the next lockdown level forMetro Manila, said Palace spokesman Harry Roque.
"Dalawang option lang naman po 'yan: mananatili ang ECQ, in which case ang tanong, meron bang pang-ayuda—o ibababa sa MECQ (modified ECQ)," said Roque, who also serves as spokesman for the task force.
(There are just 2 options: ECQ stays, in which case the question is will there be funds for cash aid—or will it be lowered to MECQ.)
President Rodrigo Duterte might deliver a national address on Friday to bare the new quarantine levels, "unless he will give authorization to have it announced earlier," Roque said in a press briefing.
Authorities aimed to keep new COVID-19 cases below 20,000 per day with Metro Manila's lockdown, he noted. The health department, he pointed out, confirmed some 11,000 infections on Wednesday.
"We seem to be on track po dahil hindi naman po sumipa beyond the projections," said Roque. "And if we continue with our planned course of action, it will always be below 20,000."
(We seem to be on track because cases did not spike beyond the projections.)
The official also noted that the utilization rate of intensive care units in Metro Manila has gone down to moderate risk.
"The figures are very encouraging as of today," he said.
Video courtesy of PTV