NCR Plus shift to GCQ by May depends on ICU bed capacity, efficient contact tracing - DTI chief
Metro Manila and the four nearby provinces can shift to general community quarantine, a more relaxed quarantine classification, by next month if hospitals can increase the capacity of their intensive care units and if there is efficient contact tracing, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said on Friday.
In an interview with ANC, Lopez said the National Capital Region and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal or the NCR Plus bubble could not just shift to GCQ, especially if coronavirus disease cases are still high.
"We believe if we are able to really ramp up the ICU beds, the healthcare system, that's the commitment," he said as he also stressed the need for "an efficient contact tracing."
He said once these isssues are solved, it could be possible for NCR Plus to be placed under GCQ if not by May 1, but by May 15.
President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to approve new quarantine classifications in various parts of the country on or before April 30.
Metro Manila and the four nearby provinces, as well as a few other areas in the country, have been placed under modified enhanced community quarantine, a more restrictive quarantine classification, from April 12 to April 30.
This was after the NCR Plus was placed under ECQ or equivalent to lockdown for two weeks from March 29 to April 11 due to surging cases of COVID-19. Celerina Monte/DMS