Malacañang said it is not impossible for the National Capital Region (NCR) to attain a less strict quarantine classification next month due to the decline in the number of cases in the region.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made the statement after Metro Manila Council (MMC) chairman Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez said NCR may shift to the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) by November if the decline in the number of COVID-19 cases is sustained.
In his Thursday presser, Roque said that NCR's long-awaited shift to MGCQ may actually happen.
"It is not an impossibility dahil talaga naman pong napababa natin (because we were really able to decrease the number of cases)," he said.
However, Roque said that Metro Manila's fate still depends on its citizens.
"Nasa kababayan pa rin natin 'yan sa Metro Manila. Alam na po natin ang dapat gawin: 'Mask, Hugas, Iwas' (It's still up to the people of Metro Manila. We know what we have to do: Wear face masks, wash our hands, and practice physical distancing)," he said.
Meanwhile, Roque said that no one can predict when will the Philippines actually flatten the COVID-19 curve.
"Bumababa po ang numero pero (The number is declining but) no one can predict po when we can actually flatten the curve," he said.
"Ang importante po hindi po nao-overwhelm ang ating healthcare system dahil kapag na-overwhelm po 'yan, ibig sabihin ang mga magkakasakit sa kalye na lang 'yan ilalagay (What's important is our healthcare system is not overwhelmed because if that happens, those who will get sick will have to be placed on the streets)," he added.
"Naiiwasan naman po natin 'yan at dahil na rin po 'yan sa kooperasyon ng lahat (We are able to avoid that because everyone is cooperating)," he continued.
Metro Manila has been under lockdown since March 15. It is under the GCQ until October 31.
Based on the COVID-19 tracker of the Department of Health (DOH), Metro Manila reported 887 cases on September 30.
To date, Metro Manila has reported 163,780 COVID-19 cases, 22,398 of whom are still active, while 138,708 recovered and 2,674 died.
DOH's COVID-19 tracker likewise revealed that Metro Manila has a bed occupancy rate of 41.9 percent. A total of 13,424 of the 23,108 beds are still vacant and this number includes:
· 1,057 ICU beds
· 8,925 isolation beds
· 3,442 ward beds
Meanwhile, DOH's tracker also showed that Quezon City still has the most number of COVID-19 infections with 26,431 cases. This is followed by Manila with 17,464 cases; Caloocan City, 9,794; Taguig City, 9,554; and Makati, 9,010.