IATF to discuss next quarantine status in NCR+, other MECQ areas

Published April 25, 2021, 2:57 PM

by Chito Chavez

The government’s task force on COVID-19 (coronavirus disease-2019) response will discuss on Tuesday, April 27, the recommendations on the next quarantine classifications for the NCR (National Capital Region)-plus composed of Metro Manila and the adjacent provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal.

Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año revealed in an interview over GMA News that the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) will meet to tackle vividly what quarantine policy will be imposed in the NCR-plus and other areas under the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) like Abra and Quirino.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID resolution will be submitted to President Duterte for his approval.

Currently, the NCR + will be under the MECQ until April 30.

Independent group OCTA Research had called on the national government to maintain the MECQ status in Metro Manila unless the reproduction number or the number of people that can be infected by the virus, significantly dropped.

The current reproduction number of Metro Manila is at 0.93.

However, Año noted that health officials found out that cases continue to rise, but slower than the usual.

“Gumanda na ang trend ngayon yun nga, bumaba rin ang reproduction number. Maganda iyon” (The trend is now turning better, the reproduction number has also gone down. That is good),’’ Año said.

The DILG chief added that they are looking into the hospital capacity and health care workers in making their recommendations for the quarantine classification of an area.

“Kailangan mapababa yung (utilization) ng healthcare capacity, COVID ward beds, ICU beds pati isolation facilities para ‘di tayo ma-overwhelm (We need to lower the healthcare capacity, COVID ward beds, ICU (intensive care unit) beds including the isolation facilities to avoid us from being overwhelmed (with COVID-19 patients),’’ Año said. (Chito A. Chavez)