OCTA Research hopes gov't to extend by another week stricter GCQ in NCR Plus
The Philippine government may further extend the placing of general community quarantine with heightened restrictions in Metro Manila and nearby four provinces for another week as the decline in the number of cases of coronavirus disease has been slowing down, the OCTA Research team said on Monday.
In the "Laging Handa" public briefing, Butch Ong of the research group said as the economy gradually opens, people's mobility also increases, thus, the possibility of having more COVID-19 infections.
"According to the data of the Department of Health, our reproduction number now is at 0.69, the drop in our reprodcution number is slowing down," he said, noting that in the past few days, the number of new daily COVID-19 cases have been reaching to about 7,000 to 8,000.
"I think, let's study if for one more week. We still go for the heightened GCQ, opening the industries slowly. Actually, that's the message of the government, slowly moving the economy. We can still go for the heightened GCQ and observe the trending for the coming week," he stressed.
President Rodrigo Duterte is set to announce on Monday night during his regular "Talk to the People" the new quarantine classifications in the country starting June.
The National Capital Region and surrounding provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal or the NCR Plus bubble have been under GCQ with heightened restrictions.
Ong said a possible reason why the COVID-19 cases have not significantly been going down was due to increase mobility of people as the economy gradually opens up.
He called on establishments to improve their minimum health standards by telling the employees to continuously wear face mask and observe physical distancing, among others.
Ong also noted increasing COVID-19 cases in other areas, suc h as Isabela, Cagayan, Iloilo, Misamis Oriental, Davao, South Cotabato, and Camarines Sur.
He said COVID-19 testing should be heightened in these areas. Celerina Monte/DMS