MECQ can slow down virus spread, may not flatten curve: expert

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 03 2020 08:14 AM

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The return of Metro Manila and surrounding provinces to the second strictest lockdown level can slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, but may not flatten its curve, an expert from the University of the Philippines said Monday. 

The modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) from Aug. 4 to 18 will limit public transport and work in some industries, where coronavirus transmissions recently occurred, said Guido David of the UP Institute of Mathematics. 

“Makakatulong talaga iyan kasi mababawasan iyong mga transmissions… ’Pag lumalabas ang mga tao mas mataas ang infection kasi mas maraming mga contacts ang nangyayari,” he told ABS-CBN’s TeleRadyo. 

(That will help because the transmissions will be reduced. When people go out, the risk of infection increases because more contacts happen.) 

“Babagal din iyon sa 2 weeks na iyan (pagkalat), pero kung flattening the curve, hindi pa siguro kakayanin… kasi masyadong mabilis. Sa Cebu kasi inabot ng mga 1 buwan pero na-flatten nila iyong curve nila,” he added. 

(The spread will slow down, but if it’s flattening the curve, we may not be able to do it yet because the MECQ is too short. In Cebu, in took a month before they flattened the curve.) 

Local governments, he said, should ramp up the dissemination of information on MECQ guidelines. 

The MECQ will cover the capital region and Laguna, Rizal and Bulacan provinces. 

The second strictest of 4 lockdown levels, the MECQ bans buses, jeepneys, taxis, ride-hailing services, and tricycles from plying the roads, and limits the operation of manufacturing plants and other establishments to half of their capacity. 

Coronavirus infections in the Philippines on Sunday breached the 100,000-mark. The country could have 150,000 COVID-19 cases by the end of August, David earlier said. 


TeleRadyo, August 3, 2020