A longer ECQ or enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila and surrounding provinces will be more effective in capping a worrying surge in COVID-19 cases, the Department of Health said Monday, citing expert recommendations.
However, an extension of the ECQ beyond April 4, has not been decided by the Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19, Presidential Spokesperon Harry Roque said.
The head of the DOH Epidemiology Bureau, Alethea de Guzman, presented the following simulation during a public briefing on the first day of the ECQ:
The virus is spreading faster and is threatening to overwhelm the healthcare system, prompting the declaration of ECQ, the strictest quarantine, De Guzman said.
"Ang ECQ, hindi para para i-restrict ang mobility. Dapat samahan ng pag-adhere sa minimum public health standards," she said.
Authorities should also use the ECQ window to trace and isolate suspect cases. "Sayang ang ECQ kung hindi natin ito gagawin."
ECQ NEWS YOU CAN USE:
Here are more data that justified the ECQ, according to De Guzman:
- The March 2021 peak in infections is nearly double the March 2020 peak
- As of March 28, 1.52% of the total active cases are severe to critical
- As of March 13, every 100 positive cases in Metro Manila infects 149 others
- The average daily attack rate nationwide is six cases per 100,000 population compared to 2.75 per 100,000 several weeks back
- In Metro Manila, the attack rate is 27 per 100,000 population
- In Metro Manila, 38% of COVID patients in the hospital are asymptomatic to mild while 62% are severe to critical