By ARGYLL GEDUCOS
The ongoing enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the National Capital Region-plus (NCR-plus) bubble will be extended for another week starting April 5 as cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continue to rise in the (COVID-19) country.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said on Saturday that President Duterte approved the ECQ extension after the country recorded 12,576 new COVID-19 cases on Black Saturday, bringing the total number of infections to 784,043.
In an announcement made over State-run social media channels, Roque said the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases recommended extending the ECQ in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal for at least a week, subject to review.
“Minimum one additional week [of ECQ] beginning on the fifth of April,” he said.
INTENSIFIED ANTI-COVID MEASURES
During this one-week extension of the strictest quarantine classification, Roque said the local government units (LGUs) and the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 czars should intensify the implementation of the different prevention, detection, isolation, treatment, and rehabilitation (PDITR) measures.
“Nire-require po natin ngayon na magkaroon ng daily monitoring ang mga lokal na pamahalaan, ang ating mga NTF czars, para po malaman natin kung ano ‘yung resulta ng pinaigting nating PDITR,” he said.
“Kasama po diyan ay ‘yung pagbabahay-bahay, paghahanap ng mga merong sintomas, at pagsa-subject sa kanila sa testing at isolation,” he added.
The Palace official likewise called on LGUs to be strict in the enforcement of quarantine measures, including accosting those who are not following minimum health standards like the wearing of face masks and shields and physical distancing.
Roque said if the PDITR measures will help lessen the number of daily COVID-19 cases, the government may decide to ease the quarantine restrictions as well.
“Matapos po ng one week, kung napatunayan po natin na gumagana ang ating PDITR, ay pwede naman po tayo mag-MECQ sa susunod na lingo,” he said.
“Pero titignan po muna natin ang resulta ng karagdagang ECQ,” he added.
Meanwhile, Roque said during the one-week extension of the ECQ, there will be an additional 110 beds for moderate to severe COVID-19 patients at the Quezon Institute in Quezon City.
He added that there will be at least 160 more beds additional bed capacity next month.