“While we believe that we can relax restrictions, we think that we should try to retain the GCQ at this time because the cases are still significant,” David said in an online forum.
NCR Plus is under “GCQ with heightened restrictions” until the end of the month.
David said some of the “heightened restrictions” could be eased to allow more businesses to open and operate at a higher capacity.
The experts added it is too early to ease restrictions in NCR Plus to modified GCQ.
“In fact, back in February, we were at 400 cases [in Metro Manila] per day, but we were still in GCQ, so it doesn’t seem to be the time to relax to MGCQ at this time. It also gives us the wrong messaging to the people,” David said.
“We want to avoid situations where people become very complacent because they feel that the situation has improved significantly, that there are no more cases, when in fact there are still cases,” he added.
Extend GCQ in NCR Plus until June: OCTA
OCTA said NCR averaged 1,099 new COVID-19 cases daily over the past week, 80% lower than the surge in April.
“That is about 80% lower than the average during the peak of the surge. The single-day peak was 8,000, but the daily average peak was 5,550, so this is a significant improvement,” David said.
David added NCR’s reproduction number, which refers to the number of people each COVID-19 case can infect, has decreased to 0.53 while its positivity rate has decreased to 10% from a high of 25% in April.
The OCTA Research group urged the government to vaccinate 50% of the population in Metro Manila and six other areas at high risk to achieve herd immunity.
The team of experts said 50% of the people living in Metro Manila and the cities of Tuguegarao, Santiago, Baguio, Cainta, Cebu, and Imus should be vaccinated due to their high COVID-19 attack rates.