The Department of Health said the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ was imposed to slow down the surge in the number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases.
“This ECQ aims to slow down the surge of cases, stop the spread of these variants, and allow the health system to recover,” DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a forum on Monday, March 29.
“If we are not going to impose harder measures or lockdowns, there could be 430,000 active cases nationally, with 350,000 cases of these will be in the NCR alone, by the end of April,” she added.
“We will have that by the end of April. Compare that to our 105,000 active cases currently,” said Vergeire.
The government placed the National Capital Region and nearby provinces under ECQ from March 29 to April 4.
She said the ECQ will also provide time to address the non-compliance to health protocols and operational issues in relation to case detection, contact tracing, isolation, and quarantine.
When asked about the possibility of the ECQ being extended, Vergeire said:”We are not closing our doors. This is not cast in stones. For now, officials are only looking at this one week.”
“Everything will be flexible. Everything will be dynamic. Everything will be based on a lot of factors,” she added.
Vergeire said among those to be considered is the capacity of the healthcare system.
“We can see that the system is already choking. We are having full capacities in emergency rooms, in ICUs. Once we see our hospitals are already able to breathe, we will already decide,” she said.