Metro Manila, other areas revert back to MECQ

Presidential Spokespoerson Secretary Harry Roque announces on Sunday the lifting of ECQ in NCR Plus. (PCOO Facebook Page screengrab)

CALOOCAN CITY, April 12 (PIA) -- President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Sunday, April 11, has again placed Metro Manila and nearby provinces under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) beginning Monday, April 12 until April 30, 2021.

After being placed under the tightest restrictions for two weeks due to a surge in COVID-19 cases, the following provinces were also reverted to the less strict form of quarantine until end of April:

  • Bulacan
  • Laguna
  • Cavite
  • Rizal

Also placed under MECQ were the City of Santiago in Isabela, and the provinces of Quirino and Abra.

The announcement came from Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque who also said the President made his decision after Metro Manila hospitals have committed to providing an additional 164 intensive care unit (ICU) beds and 1,157 regular beds for COVID-19 patients as of Sunday.

“Inaprubahan ngayong araw ng ating Presidente ang rekomendasyon ng inyong IATF [Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases] na ilagay ang mga lugar na ito,” he said.

Roque said this commitment to boost the bed capacity for coronavirus cases prompted the government to ease restrictions to MECQ.

“Dahil sa direktiba ng Pangulo sa PhilHealth na magbayad sa mga ospital na mayroong mga unpaid COVID claims, marami sa ating mga private, national government, at LGU hospitals ay nag-commit na dadagdagan ang mga COVID-19 beds, lalo na ang mga ICU beds sa NCR Plus," he said. 

“Ito ang isa sa mga naging kritikal na basehan ng IATF para mag rekomenda sa ating Presidente na magluwag ng kaunti at gawing MECQ ang klasipikasyon sa NCR Plus," he added.

Also for MECQ-NCR Plus:

  • Dedicated COVID-19 beds in isolation, quarantine and health facilities must be increased through the joint effort of the Department of Education, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, the Department of Public Works and Highways, and the Department of Health;
  • There must be an adequate number of COVID-19 dedicated beds, complementary health human resources, and well-coordinated triage and referral systems in place at the local government units (LGUs), isolation and quarantine facilities, and health facilities;
  • Hospitals must also be decongested through the partnership of hospitals with temporary treatment and monitoring facilities or step-down facilities for mild or moderate care or home care, provided there is proof of capacity to do adequate quarantine or isolation;
  • LGUs in the NCR Plus are enjoined to set-up their respective local telehealth triaging systems equipped with sufficient medical personnel available to provide immediate medical and patient referral advice;
  • The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation must ensure the continued responsive and timely payment of reimbursement claims for COVID-19.
  • LGUs to prioritize the generation of demand for vaccination to those with highest risk for severe disease and death, particularly Priority Groups A2 and A3 of the National Deployment and Vaccination Plan for COVID-19; and
  • The Department of Labor and Employment and the Department of Trade and Industry are directed to ascertain the number of employees who may undertake alternative work arrangements and its impact on the maximum carrying capacity of the subject area.

As of Sunday, April 11, the Philippines recorded 11,681 new COVID-19 cases brining the tally 864,868 cases. Meanwhile, the country also listed a new high 55,204 more recoveries from the the coronavirus disease. (PIA NCR)



Source: Philippines Information Agency (pia.gov.ph)

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