IATF to review NCR+ healthcare system before deciding on May quarantine

Published April 25, 2021, 10:01 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

The government’s pandemic task force is set to take another look at the healthcare system of the National Capital Region-plus (NCR-plus) bubble area before deciding on its quarantine classification for the month of May.

Manila Bulletin File Photo

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque made the statement days before the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in the NCR-plus bubble area expires on April 30.

In a statement, Roque reiterated that the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases will decide on the next quarantine classification based on science and hard data.

“The members of the IATF, in their next meeting, would look into the analytics of the healthcare system of the National Capital Region Plus and the country,” he said.

“Specifically, it will review the attack rate and the hospital care utilization rate while checking the economic health of the nation,” he added.

Roque said that the government is trying to balance protecting the health of the public and keeping the economy alive while the country grapples with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Our approach is whole-of-government and our overarching goal is to promote the total health of Filipinos, including people who have been marginalized due to loss of jobs and have experienced poverty as a result because of the imposition of strict lockdowns,” he said.

Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal– collectively known as the NCR-plus bubble area– are under the MECQ until the end of the month due to the alarming increase of COVID-19 cases.

During the MECQ period, the IATF is evaluating the protection, detection, isolation, treatment, and reintegration (PDITR) efforts of local government units (LGUs). Last week, Roque attributed the “modest decrease” of COVID-19 cases in the NCR to the PDITR strategy.

To date, the Philippines has recorded 997,523 COVID-19 cases, 8,162 of which were logged on Sunday, April 25.