NCR+ still far from easing to MGCQ, says Roque

Published June 11, 2021, 2:10 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

The National Capital Region (NCR) Plus may not yet be ready to ease its quarantine status to the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ), the least restrictive of the four risk classifications imposed by the government to curb the coronavirus outbreak.

Santi, the sanitation robot, is deployed to disinfect SM Mall of Asia to ensure a safe shopping experience for the public on June 7, 2021 (Ali Vicoy/ Manila Bulletin)

According to Presidential spokesman Harry Roque, NCR Plus is still far from attaining the MGCQ status but could possibly ease to the “ordinary” general community quarantine (GCQ) instead due to the improving coronavirus situation.

The NCR Plus bubble area, composed of Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal, remained under GCQ but with “restrictions” until June 15. Prior to the shift to a stricter GCQ last May 15, these areas were placed on the most restrictive lockdown since late March to stem the rapid surge in coronavirus cases following the emergence of new variants.

Roque explained that the reduction in coronavirus cases as well as critical health utilization rate in NCR Plus may drive its shift to the regular GCQ by next week.

“‘Yung data natin ay mahusay naman, ang ating hospital care utilization rate ay mababa po, nasa 52% lamang at saka ang ating daily attack rate ay patuloy pa rin na negative (Our data looks good. Our hospital care utilization rate is low, it’s around 52 percent. Our daily attack rate stayed negative),” Roque said over DZBB Friday, June 11.

“Pero sa tingin ko hindi pa rin tayo puwedeng mag-ambisyon ng MGCQ, malayo pa po tayo sa MGCQ. Ngayon po kasi nasa GCQ tayo with restrictions. Baka mamaya, posible naman po na ordinary GCQ para maibalik iyong mga limited capacity sa dati nilang mga porsiyento (But I think we cannot aim for MGCQ yet. We’re far from reaching MGCQ. We’re at GCQ with restrictions at the moment. It’s possible to shift to the ordinary GCQ to bring back the percentage of the limited operational capacity),” he said.

READ: NCR+ may ease to ‘ordinary’ GCQ next week — Palace

If NCR Plus deescalates to the ordinary GCQ, Roque said indoor dining in restaurants would increase to 50 percent capacity.

Under the current GCQ “with restrictions,” indoor dining is limited at up to 30 percent of venue capacity. Outdoor dining is allowed at 50 percent capacity.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) is expected to hold another meeting to review the next quarantine status of NCR Plus and submit a recommendation to President Duterte. The Chief Executive makes the final decision on the country’s quarantine level.

“Titingnan po natin iyan, dahil siyempre ito po ay isang collegial decision ng IATF (These will studied because of course it will be a collegial decision of the IATF),” Roque said.