Effect of MECQ ‘flexi’ known by next week — OCTA Research

Published May 4, 2021, 11:30 AM

by Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz

OCTA on Tuesday expressed hope that the slight easing of mobility restrictions in the NCR Plus areas will not cause a “spike” in the number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases noting that the downward trend remains “unstable.”


This developed as OCTA Research fellow Dr. Guido David said the effect of the flexible modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) will be known by next week.

“Our trend in NCR is still improving. It [number of cases] has decreased. What we’re seeing is that the average number of cases in NCR [National Capital Region] is now at around 3,000 cases per day. That’s a decrease of about 46 percent as compared to the peak [of the surge in March],” David said in a Teleradyo interview on Tuesday, May 4.

At the peak of the surge, Metro Manila averaged 5,550 COVID-19 cases per day while the whole country averaged more than 10,000 cases per day.

“Yung reproduction number nasa around 0.82 sa NCR. (The reproduction number is around 0.82 in NCR). Pero sa (But in the) whole Philippines, we are averaging less than 8,000 cases per day now,” David said.

“Yung effect ngayong MECQ [modified enhanced community quarantine] Flexi na sinasabi natin hindi pa natin nakikita yung buong effect nito dahil May 1 palang siya naimplement. Ang nakikita palang natin yung effect ng ECQ [enhanced community quarantine] and MECQ na hanggang April 30. (We have not seen yet the full effect of today’s MECQ Flexi, as we call it, because it has been implemented just last May 1. What we are seeing now is the effect of the implementation of the ECQ and MECQ until April 30),” he added.

David said the effect of the “MECQ Flexi” will be known by next week.

The group, he noted, is hoping that the slight easing of mobility restrictions in the NCR Plus areas will not cause a “spike” in the number of COVID-19 cases as the downward trend remains “unstable.”

Yung ECQ nareverse niya yung upward trend at nagsimula nang bumaba and then yung MECQ na-sustain niya yung downward trend. Pero medyo unstable pa rin yung downward trend natin kasi may mga LGUs [local government units] na hindi pa ganun ka-stable yung decrease nila. (The ECQ reversed the upward trend and started to decline and then the MECQ sustained the downward trend. But our downward trend is still a bit unstable because there are LGUs whose decrease in cases is not that stable yet),” David explained.

He said the decrease in the average daily cases in Muntinlupa, Las Piñas, and Valenzuela has slightly flattened as compared to the previous week. 

OCTA also observed a slow decline in the number of daily reported cases in Parañaque and Mandaluyong during the past week.

Too early say pa ngayon [kung pwede nang luluwagan ang restriction]. Hindi pa natin nakikita yung full effect niya. Siguro by next week or next, next week before May 14 we could make a re-assessment. (Too early to say now if the restriction can be relaxed. We have not yet seen his full effect. Maybe by next week or next, next week before May 14 we could make a re-assessment),” David said.

“Kasi yung pag ease natin ng restrictions meron silang risk na baka magkaspike. Pero kung wala tayong nakitang spike then pwede na magluwag pa siguro gradually. (Because when we eased restrictions, there is a risk that cases might spike. But if we don’t see a spike then maybe we can loosen up gradually),” he added.