DOH wants one-week extension of ECQ in NCR Plus bubble

The Department of Health (DOH) wants the reimposed enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in NCR Plus bubble to be extended for another week, according to Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire on Tuesday.

“Extension for another week was recommended but nothing is final and works in a whole of government approach. There will be an assessment of the progress before ends,” Vergeire told GMA News in a text message.

Experts also recommend extending the strictest community quarantine which is scheduled to end on April 4.

According to Department of Health-Epidemiology Bureau director Dr. Althea De Guzman, if the is withdrawn after a week of its implementation, its impact in lowering daily cases would not be that significant.

De Guzman said the data should be carefully analyzed while considering the impact on the economy when the ECQ is extended to Metro Manila and neighboring provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal, and Laguna.

De Guzman also mentioned that the COVID-19 case is likely to increase when the ECQ is withdrawn on April 4.

He said it will only be seen if the decline in COVID-19 cases will continue if the ECQ has an extension.

DOH wants one-week extension of ECQ in NCR Plus bubble

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that if the advice of experts is followed, more people may die of starvation.

In a separate television interview, Vergeire said the DOH and the National Economic and Development Authority are also analyzing the effect of ECQ in curbing the infections and reviving the economy.

“The ideal would really be two weeks so that we can be able to see that effect that we would want,” she said in an interview on ANC.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health (DOH) reported that the government has 656,331 Filipinos nationwide since the vaccination program began.

The 656,331 equated to 80.23% of the intended doses for the first jab. A total of 2,494 vaccination sites has also been set up in 17 regions in the country.

The DOH targets to vaccinate 1.8 million  (HCWs), nine million senior citizens, and 14.5 million people with comorbidities.