NAP Phase 3 eyes NCR’s shift to MGCQ and decrease in new COVID-19 cases, deaths

Published September 23, 2020, 6:10 PM

by Martin Sadongdong

The third phase of the National Action Plan (NAP), the government’s over-all response effort to the COVID-19 pandemic, is now being crafted and it will focus on bringing down further the new confirmed cases and deaths, and the easing of the quarantine status of the National Capital Region (NCR) to modified general community quarantine (MGCQ), the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 announced on Wednesday.

Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez Jr., chief implementer of the National Task Force (NTF) on COVID-19 (NTF AGAINST COVID-19 / MANILA BULLETIN)

NTF chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. said the NAP Phase 3 will be effective from October to December 2020, where a number of holidays will be celebrated beginning with the All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day in November up to the Christmas season in December.

“The primary focus in the third phase is how we can sustain the gains for the past six months, to bring down the cases to the very minimum level, and at the same time, bring the average deaths back to single digit,” Galvez said in a virtual briefing at Bonifacio Global City (BGC), Taguig City.

“We will also try to find ways on how to further intensify the implementation of the minimum health standards so we can prepare the transition of the National Capital Region to MGCQ, and the localization of the NAP down to the LGUs [local government units],” he added.

The Phase 3, Galvez said, will also seek to continue to find the balance between prioritizing the safety of the public and the recovery of the economy, which was the focus of the NAP Phase 2.

“We are already in talks with the NEDA (National Economic and Development Authority) to help us uplift our communities,” he noted.

According to Galvez, a total of 3.2 million Filipinos have been tested so far for COVID-19, constituting 2.9 percent of the total population.

The government can now conduct an average of 36,000 tests daily, with the highest testing output recorded on September 11 with 46,500 tests done.

A total of 130 testing laboratories were also accredited while 95 more molecular laboratories are applying for accreditation.

Further, 229,086 contact tracers composing 25,879 contact tracing teams were also created. These teams were able to find 94 percent of the close contacts of all confirmed cases in the country.

Meanwhile, under Oplan Kalinga, a total of 27,074 COVID-19-positive individuals were removed from home quarantine and brought to isolation centers. 

It resulted in the decrease of active cases since the patients were placed in proper facilities where they would not be able to spread the disease, Galvez stressed.

To successfully implement NAP Phase 3, the government plans to build more testing, treatment, and isolation facilities to cater to more patients, Galvez said.