Palace says COVID situation in rest of PH not as bad as in NCR Plus

The coronavirus situation in other parts of the country is not as bad as the prevailing situation happening in the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus bubble, Malacañang said Thursday.


According to Presidential spokesman Harry Roque, authorities have so far monitored the surge in coronavirus cases mainly in National Capital Region and four nearby provinces.

Roque issued the latest pronouncement after assuring there was no decision yet on whether to expand the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) classification to the rest of Luzon.

From a two-week enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal have been placed under the less restrictive MECQ until the end of April to stem the spike in coronavirus cases. The provinces of Quirino and Abra as well as Santiago City, Isabela are also placed under the MECQ until April 30.

"Sa ngayon binabantayan natin ang datos at wala pa naman ganoong conclusion ang nakikita natin. Ang talagang paglobo ng mga kaso ay nandito sa NCR plus at kaya ang response muna natin sa NCR Plus (At present, we are monitoring the data and we have not seen such conclusion. The case surge is happening in NCR Plus and so our response is concentrated in NCR Plus)," Roque said during an online press conference Thursday, April 15 when asked if there will be an expansion of MECQ to the rest of Luzon.

"Pero as I said, binabantayan din natin ang mga kaso są iba't-ibang lugar ng Pilipinas (But as I said, we are monitoring the cases in various places in the Philippines) pero so far po (but so far) nothing as bad as we have seen in NCR Plus," he added.

The health department earlier announced it has observed a surge in coronavirus cases in other parts of Luzon in recent days. The health care utilization rates in Regions 1, 2, 3, 4-A and Cordillera Administrative Region have also increased due to the increase in cases, according to Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.

In recent days, the country has recorded grim record highs in the number of infections and deaths. As of April 14, the cases of coronavirus have reached 892,880 with 15,447 deaths.

Of the 165,534 active cases as of April 13, 82,802 cases of infections have been reported in National Capital Region, followed by 31,224 cases in CALABARZON, and 17,051 cases in Central Luzon.

The Palace earlier admitted that much more could be done in addressing the pandemic after the country's cases continued to increase. Roque said while the government made strides in testing, tracing, isolation, and vaccination, it needed the cooperation of all sectors to overcome the challenges arising from the public health emergency.