On the first day of the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine in Metro Manila and four surounding provinces on Tuesday, the government said it was looking to strengthen the pillars of its four-point strategy: trace, test, isolate and treat The MECQ will last for 15 days, giving authorities a window to reboot its pandemic-fighting plan and stop rising cases.
The national government adopted the strategy employed by Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, wherein 30 to 37 close contacts of a COVID-19 patient are traced, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said. Magalong is the Contact Tracing Czar.
Isolation centers are being built, up to 2,000 more rooms and the government "will not hesitate" to use available hotel rooms in Metro Manila if needed given that tourism is at a standstill, he said. Several other so-called "mega" quarantine facilties have been set up, including the Philippine Arena in Bulacan and the ASEAN Convention Center in Pampanga.
Testing should go hand-in-hand with contact tracing, he said. Earlier, on the treatment side, the government said it would ask hospitals to increase their bed allocation for COVID-19 patients.