Malacañang on Tuesday said there is a “50-50” chance that the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) imposed in the National Capital Region and four nearby provinces (NCR Plus) to curb the spike in coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases will be extended beyond April 4.
In a Palace press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the decision will depend on whether new infections have slowed down.
“I would say it’s a 50-50. We’re hoping that the one-week bubble and one-week ECQ would lead to lower numbers,” he said partly in Filipino.
Roque said members of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) will be meeting on Black Saturday to finalize the quarantine classification.
“The IATF is assessing it thoroughly and on Black Saturday we will have another meeting where we will finalize what will happen. But another week or two weeks of ECQ would be an absolute last resort,” he added partly in Filipino.
He expressed hope that a week-long ECQ accompanied by the strict adherence to minimum health and safety standards would result in a drop in new infections.
“We are hoping that after a week-long ECQ accompanied by mask, wash, physical distancing, and accompanied by strict CODE or house-to-house visits to look for symptomatic patients and enhanced testing and isolation we are hoping that there would not be a need for an ECQ extension,” he said in Filipino.Roque reiterated that extending the ECQ would only be done “as a last resort” to prevent a collapse of the country’s healthcare system. SOVEREIGNPH