The imposition of the one-week general community quarantine with heightened restrictions (GCQ-HR), followed by a five-week enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) would not stop the increase of active cases in Metro Manila but it could decrease the original projection for September.
Citing initial forecasts from experts, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said Saturday even if Metro Manila implements “higher community quarantine classifications,” cases would still reach about 18,000 next month, and higher if it stayed under GCQ-HR for four weeks.
“We were able to update the projections. If we do GCQ-HR for one week and five weeks ECQ, we could get 15,000 active cases by the end of September,” she said in a Laging Handa briefing partly in Filipino.
Sharing other scenarios, Vergeire said Metro Manila would hit 42,000 active cases if it implements a mix of one-week GCQ-HR, three-week ECQ, and two-week modified ECQ; and about 58,000 if it loosens the classifications to a one-week GCQ-HR with two weeks of ECQ and three weeks of modified ECQ (MECQ).
“So looking at our projections, We could see that even if we impose tougher classifications, we will still see a rise in the number of cases but the most important thing here is to prepare our system and vaccinate more people in the hope of having fewer severe infections,” she said partly in Filipino.
Vergeire said the current spike in cases is likely driven by the more transmissible Delta variant in the Philippines.
The DOH has also asked local government units and health facilities to establish a “navigation system” that would refer mild and asymptomatic cases to “step-down care facilities” or quarantine sites to further decongest hospitals for other patients.
“What we’re aiming with the implementation of stricter community quarantine classifications is to delay further the increase but it will not stop the spike. What we’re doing now is prepare our system,” she added in Filipino.