Palace releases MECQ guidelines

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Malacañang released Friday the guidelines for areas under the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) from August 4 to 18.

President Rodrigo Duterte heeded the plea of healthcare workers and placed Metro Manila, Bulacan, Laguna, Cavite, and Rizal under two-week MECQ.

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Under the said community quarantine, individuals below 21 years old, those who are 60 years old and above, those with immunodeficiency, comorbidity, or other health risks, and pregnant women are not allowed to go out.

Strict home quarantine in all households should be observed except for those:

  • accessing essential goods/ services
  • working in the offices/ industries permitted to operate, and
  • Authorized Persons Outside Residence

ALLOWED

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  • outdoor walks
  • jogging
  • running
  • biking
  • religious activity: not more than 5 persons
  • critical government services and authorized humanitarian activities
  • limited international flights
  • shuttle services for employees
  • P2P transport
  • private transportation (company shuttles, personal vehicles utilized by APOR)

NOT ALLOWED

  • mass gatherings
  • backriding
  • domestic flights
  • inter-island travel
  • public transportation
  • No face-to-face or in-person classes at all levels

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Meanwhile, experts from the University of the Philippines said Monday the reimposed modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in Metro Manila could reduce the number of COVID-19 cases by at least 50,000 by the end of August.

According to Professor Ranjit Rye of the UP OCTA research team, the Philippines could have 220,000 COVID-19 cases by the end of the month if the capital remained under general community quarantine (GCQ).

There could be 50,000 to 70,000 fewer cases after reverting to MECQ, Rye said at a Malacañang press briefing.

“Ngayon naka-MECQ, we will save more than 50,000 new cases,” Rye said.

The UP professor said the MECQ will have a crucial impact on the coronavirus transmission rate. At present, Rye said the reproduction number — or the number of people an infected person could pass the virus to — is almost 1.5 but could decrease to 1 in 15 days.

“Malaking bagay na ho, kayang kaya, malaking bagay na ho na nagdesisyon ang gobyerno, kahit na napakalaki ng cost nito, na mag-MECQ,” he said.

(The government’s decision, no matter how high the cost is to go back to MECQ, is a big thing.)

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