Government efforts against Covid-19 enters its critical phase as the virus seems to have gotten more infectious according to an official.
“We have observed that the behavior of the virus has changed in terms of its reproduction,” Chief implementer of the government’s national policy on Covid-19 Carlito Galvez said during an online media briefing on Monday.
Last month, the Department of Health (DOH) reported the reproductive rate or R-naught of Covid-19 increased from 1.09 to 1.23, which means Covid positive patients could infect more people.
Galvez also noted the resumption of business operations as well as family gatherings helped in spreading the virus further.
These developments together with the intensified expanded targeted testing efforts of the government led to ballooning Covid-19 cases in the country, which has now reached 106,330 as of Aug. 3, 2020.
This was confirmed by Health undersecretary Maria Rosario S. Vergeire, who said there was now a significant number of clusters of Covid-19 nationwide.
She explained clusters are incidents where there are two or more Covid positive individuals located in a single household, barangay, municipality and on so forth.
“There are 887 clusters nationwide, wherein 741 are based in communities,” Vergeire said.
The large number of Covid-19 infection, particularly in the National Capital Region (NCR) prompted medical organizations to call on the government put the region to raise the community quarantine classification in a bid to allow medical workers to rest as well as slowdown the reproduction of the virus.
On Sunday, President Rodrigo R. Duterte granted the request and placed NCR, Laguna, Cavite, Rizal and Bulacan under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) from Aug. 4, 2020 to Aug. 18, 2020.
Under the MECQ, public transportation as well as movement of people will be limited. Non-essential establishments will also be stopped from operating and quarantine passes will once again be reimposed.
For companies, which will be allowed to operate, they will only be allowed to 50 percent of their personnel working in their respective workplaces.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the government will take advantage of the MECQ by allowing medical workers to rest by getting health workers from other areas of the country to serve as their substitute.
He said thee government will also use the MECQ to expand the critical care capacity as well as the available testing and isolation activities in the NCR.