The Department of Health (DOH) has supported the health sector’s urge to further extend enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the National Capital Region and neighboring provinces (NCR Plus) amid the spike of COVID-19 cases.
Health spokesperson Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told TeleRadyo that the ECQ extension is part of the recommendation from other institutions, private practitioners, hospitals, and other observing groups.
She said the lockdown or more stringent quarantine is usually actually 14 days to see the effect and stop the increase in cases.
Vergeire added that the DOH agreed to the proposal but still needs to discuss it with the IATF because it is not just a health issue.
“Ang usapan dun sa IATF nung nagkaroon ng pulong noong Sabado ay titingnan natin pagkaraan ng 1 linggo kung nakakaagapay na ba ‘yung ating mga ospital… When we see that at nakita natin na makakaagapay naman tayo kahit dumami pa ‘yung kaso eh na-expand naman natin ‘yung capacity, then maybe we can say that we can lift,” said Vergeire.
The ECQ on NCR Plus is until April 4, but the Palace has already said it will meet on Saturday to see if it should be extended further.
DOH favors extension of ECQ
Vergeire explained that the purpose of the 1-week ECQ is to allow the health care system to breathe because it is almost exhausted.
According to the DOH on Tuesday, there were 9,296 additional COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 741,181.
Meanwhile, the government would have no budget to provide another round of aid if the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) be extended in the National Capital Region and four nearby provinces after April 4.
“One-time financial assistance lang po ito. Pagka ito ay tumagal pa, hindi na sasapat. Kaya hanggang doon lang po ang kaya nating gawin sa kasalukuyan,” Avisado said.