IATF asked to place Davao City under 25-day MECQ

Published June 2, 2021, 2:42 PM

by Antonio Colina IV

DAVAO CITY — The City Government of Davao confirmed Wednesday that it requested the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to put Davao City under a 25-day Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) beginning June 5 until June 30 after nearly seven months of General Community Quarantine (GCQ) amid the surge in new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections.

The local government asked for a stricter quarantine classification to “allow a circuit breaker in the surge of patients inside the hospitals.”

This came only two days after President Rodrigo R. Duterte extended the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) status of the city until end of this month.

Pending approval from IATF-EID, the local authorities asked the public to review in advance the quarantine guidelines under MECQ while the workers, who will be affected, have been told to coordinate with City Mayor’s Special Project Office in Magsaysay Park for the employment assistance program.

From April 4 to May 15, 2020, the city was placed under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), GCQ from May 16 until June 30, and Modified GCQ (MGCQ) from July 1 to November 19. It reverted to GCQ on November 20, 2020.

Department of Health (DOH)-Davao reported 338 new cases on Tuesday, bringing the total cases to 17,337, with 1,912 active cases, 14,665 recoveries, and 760 deaths.

Dr. Ashley Lopez, acting head of City Health Office, told Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR) Wednesday that those new cases were compounded from May 28 to 31 as result of the series of heightened community testing.

The health official suspected that the sudden spike in COVID-19 cases could be caused by the presence of “undetected” variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the infection.

He said that he was alarmed the increase in new COVID-19 cases is sudden, and not gradual.

“I cannot confirm this year but I suspect that there is a variant that’s going around because the increase in new cases is very fast… we have yet to receive a report from Philippine Genome Center. I believe there is because it’s seven times faster than what we had last October and November,” he said.

He surmised that this might have been caused by returning residents from Luzon and Visayas who returned home by land to the city when National Capital Region and Cebu grappled with COVID-19 surge.

The Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) reported Wednesday that its 77-bed intensive care unit (ICU) for COVID-19 patients have been fully occupied while 293 of its 312 ward beds have been utilized as of May 31.