OCTA: MECQ may not be working as COVID-19 cases still rise

Published April 17, 2021, 11:38 AM

by Jhon Aldrin Casinas

An expert studying the pandemic in the country has raised concern that the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) may not be working in curbing the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Metro Manila as the number of cases continues to increase.


“It’s still too early to say, pwede pang mag reverse, pero sa totoo lang, we are getting very concerned na the MECQ is not working,” OCTA Research fellow Professor Guido David said in a TeleRadyo interview Saturday, April 17.

David said the imposition of the two-week ECQ in National Capital Region-plus (NCR-plus) has dropped the reproduction rate of COVID-19, which resulted to a downward trend observed in five cities in the metropolis, with the region even posting a negative growth rate.

In its latest monitoring report, OCTA said the reproduction number in the NCR decreased to 1.16 from April 9 to 15.

Researchers noted that the average number of new cases reported daily in the metro was 5,085 over the past week, with a one week growth rate of -0.4 percent. 

“Sinasabi naman namin nun (What we have said before), the ECQ was working. Nagkaroon tayo ng negative growth rate (We had a negative growth rate). Now, maybe the MECQ is not working,” he said.

“We will know more lalo na (especially) when we see the numbers today and tomorrow. And by Monday, if they continue to be higher than what we are expecting, it might be na yung (that the) MECQ is actually not working,” he added.

During the second week of ECQ, the expert noted that NCR posted a -10 percent growth rate in cases, which meant that the number of COVID-19 cases has started to decline.

“Pero based on the latest figures, even sa NCR, nawala yung negative growth rate. Ibig sabihin mas mataas yung cases this week, compared sa past seven days (But based on the latest figures, even in NCR, the negative growth rate has gone. This means that the cases are higher this week, compared to the past seven days),” he said.

David said the growth rate in NCR increased four percent compared to last week, noting that the change is “very concerning.”

Despite this, David hopes to see a decrease in the number of cases in Metro Manila in the coming days.

“Pero (But) if we’re not seeing it, it’s an early sign there’s something to be concerned about dito sa trend natin (in our trend),” he said.