The National Capital Region (NCR) Plus may shift to the more relaxed general community quarantine (GCQ) by May 15 given the improving coronavirus situation and health care capacity, a Palace official said Monday, May 10.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque mentioned that the reduction in the critical care utilization rate as well as coronavirus cases in Metro Manila in recent days, could merit a "possible" de-escalation in the community quarantine level.
"I will not second guess the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases) but pursuant to the formula it is possible," Roque said during a televised press briefing Monday.
From the critical level of above 70 percent, Roque 68 percent of the Metro Manila's intensive care unit (ICU) beds are currently being utilized. The critical care use rate has dropped to moderate status, he noted.
Roque said the IATF would still hold a meeting to review the country's coronavirus situation and recommend the next community quarantine level for these areas. The government task force will then submit its recommendation to President Duterte who will make the final decision.
Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal, collectively known as NCR Plus, has been under modified enhanced community quarantine since April 12, after a two-week strict lockdown to curb the rapid surge in cases. The MECQ status will remain in effect until May 14 unless lifted or extended by the President.