By Minka Klaudia Tiangco
At least 12.6 percent of the total number of asymptomatic coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients in the country are in the city of Manila, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso said Tuesday night.
Citing data from the Department of Health (DOH) released on Monday, Domagoso said the Philippine capital accounts for 101 out of 797 asymptomatic COVID-19 patients in the country.
Domagoso said that with this, along with the relaxing of measures during the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ), they are expecting a surge in confirmed COVID-19 patients.
“We should be more careful in the following days because it is possible that the number of COVID-19 patients will increase,” he warned during his city address.
“In national statistics regarding COVID-19, 12 percent of the asymptomatic patients are in Manila, so we should be more cautious. They look strong, normal, but they are actually carriers,” he added.
Data from the DOH also showed that majority of COVID-19 patients in Manila – 509 or 57.8 percent – suffered from mild symptoms of the disease.
Meanwhile, 194 or 22.1 percent have recovered; 69 or 7.8 percent have died; 3 or 0.3 percent are in severe condition; and 2 or 0.2 percent are in critical condition.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the country’s capital has a total of 932 confirmed COVID-19 patients with 146 recoveries and 86 deaths.
Despite this, Domagoso said the implementation of the MECQ is “a welcome development” since more industries, businesses, and services will be allowed to operate.
“This (implementation of MECQ) means that some of the businesses in our city will slowly reopen, which is a good development for our city,” he said.
“We cannot separate ‘lives’ from ‘livelihoods’, it has to come together,” he added. “I don’t like hibernation, stagnation. We must move on, we must confront it and face these challenges.”
Earlier, he confirmed that he voted in favor of implementing the general community quarantine (GCQ) in Manila during the Metro Manila Council meeting last Saturday, because he believes extending the ECQ would cost thousands of workers their jobs.
On Tuesday, Presidential spokesman Harry Roque announced that all highly urbanized cities of Metro Manila, the municipality of Pateros, Laguna, and Cebu City – that are considered high-risk areas – will be under MECQ from May 16 to May 31.
Domagoso said they will continue their mass-testing and contact-tracing efforts during the MECQ.
The city government’s data showed that a total of 4,694 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests and 15,585 rapid tests had been performed for the city’s probable and suspect COVID-19 patients as of Tuesday.
He also said that they are building at least 10 quarantine facilities that have a capacity of up to 440 beds for COVID-19 patients at various locations in the city to augment the Delpan Quarantine Facility.
The Manila mayor also said he hopes to aid more workers whose livelihoods were affected by the two month-long implementation of the ECQ by partnering with private corporations.
The city government and food delivery app foodpanda signed a memorandum of agreement on Monday wherein 500 displaced tricycle drivers will be recruited and trained as foodpanda partner riders.
Cleaning and disinfecting operations in the city will also continue in a bid to curb the spread of the disease, Domagoso said.