OCTA Research recommends 2-week MECQ amid rising COVID-19 cases

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MANILA, Philippines — A fellow at the OCTA Research group on Saturday recommended that the government impose a two-week modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) amid the surge in COVID-19 cases.


During the Laging Handa online press briefing, Dr. Butch Ong of the OCTA Research group said the reproduction number of COVID-19 cases dropped to 1.94 from 2.04.

This was despite the efforts of local government units in Metro Manila to place certain areas under localized lockdowns.

“If we are going to maintain the localized lockdowns, or if the change in the reproductive number is only .01, we might see an improvement in about 10 weeks. Baka ngayon siguro, pwede natin i-consider ang stricter community restriction like MECQ for two weeks,” he said.

(Maybe now, we can consider stricter community restrictions like MECQ for two weeks.)

Commuters wait for free shuttle and their respective company shuttle service while strictly observing social distancing at Commonwealth Avenue

(FILE) Commuters wait for the free shuttle and their respective company shuttle service while strictly observing social distancing at Commonwealth Avenue in Tandang Sora, Quezon City, on Tuesday, August 4, 2020, as the National Capital Region (NCR) reverted to a stricter modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) due to rising COVID-19 cases. INQUIRER/GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

Ong said that the last time Metro Manila was placed under MECQ, there was a significant drop in COVID-19 cases.

“Based on last year’s performance, nung nagkaroon tayo ng two-week time out ng healthcare workers (when we had a time out for our health workers), it decreased significantly within the next four months.. and we saw a steady decrease until December,” he said.

The last time Metro Manila was under MECQ was from Aug. 4 to 18, after medical frontliners called for a “time out” amid a surge in COVID-19 cases.

As of March 27, the Philippines reported 9,838 new COVID-19 cases, driving the country’s total to 702,856.


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