The government decided to extend by another week the enhanced community quarantine classification (ECQ) in Metro Manila and surrounding provinces, also known as “NCR Plus.”
In an announcement on PTV on Saturday, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said President Duterte approved the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to prolong the hard lockdown in line with the recommendation of health experts.
The new policy will cover the areas under the so-called NCR plus, which includes Metro Manila, Laguna, Cavite, Bulacan, and Rizal.
During the said period, the government will intensify its prevention, detection, isolation, tracing, and reintegration (PDITR) operations to arrest the spread of infection within their jurisdiction.
“Because of this we will require local government to have a daily monitoring so we could to determine the result of our intensified PDITR,” Roque said.
He said local government officials would also be required to conduct house-to-house visits to to ensure any infected within the said household will be tested and isolated.
To address the diminishing number of facilities for Covid-19 patients in NCR, Roque said a new 110-bed facility in Quezon Institute in Quezon City will soon be operational to accommodate patients with moderate to severe Covid-19 symptoms.
“After this one week [extension], if we will prove that our PDITR is working, we may implement an MECQ (modified enhanced community quarantine] next week,” Roque said.
Prior to the extension, the duration of the ECQ in NCR plus should have been from March 29 to April 4, 2021.
The IATF made the decision as the number of daily new Covid-19 cases breached the 8,000 mark.
As of April 3, 2021, the Department of Health registered an additional 12,576 people were infected with Covid-19 nationwide.
Image credits: Roy Domingo