ECQ helped contain Covid-19 infection: Roque

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MANILA: The now lifted enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) “worked” in containing coronavirus disease (Covid-19) infection, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said on Monday.

Roque made this comment as the Metro Manila and other areas transitioned from modified ECQ to less stringent general community quarantine (GCQ) on June 1.

In a virtual presser, Roque said the country’s positivity rate declined from 13.4 percent in April to 7.5 percent as of late May. Positivity rate refers to the number of laboratory-confirmed tests that come back positive.

“Nagsimula tayo noong April, ay napakataas po ng positivity rate ‘no, 13.4 percent – April 12 – 13.4 percent at sa ngayon po as of May 24 ay nasa 6.5 percent na po tayo – so ibig sabihin, talagang gumana po ang ating ECQ (When we started in April 12, we had a very high positivity rate at 13.4 percent. Now, as of May 24, we are now at 6.5 percent–so this means the ECQ really worked),” Roque said.

Roque, however, warned the public anew that the easing positivity rate will depend on how the public cooperates with government authorities in observing protocols under the more relaxed GCQ.

He also reported the country’s improved health system capacity in terms of beds used in the intensive care unit (ICU) to a total of 1,273 ICU beds (820 vacant and 453 occupied beds) as of May 28 from only 808 ICU beds (555 vacant beds and 253 occupied beds) on April 23.

The mechanical ventilators (MVs), he said, (1,581 vacant MVs and 354 occupied MVs) also increased to 1,935 as of May 28 from only 1,039 MVs (830 vacant MVs and 209 occupied MVs) on April 23.

As of May 28, there are 9,201 isolation beds (5,900 vacant and 3,301 occupied beds) compared to April 23 when it only had 4,925 isolation beds (3,114 vacant and 1,811 occupied beds).

Aside from National Capital Region, other areas placed under GCQ from June 1 to 15 are Pangasinan; Region 2 (Cagayan Valley); 3 (Central Luzon); Region 4-A (Calabarzon); Region 7 (Central Visayas); Zamboanga City; and Davao City.

The rest of the country is under MGCQ.

Meanwhile, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said “localized lockdown” will be implemented in barangays (villages) or critical zones with “high risk” of Covid-19 infection.

Barangays that recorded more than two Covid-19 cases in one week will be placed under a lockdown, he said.

As of May 31, there are 18,086 confirmed Covid-19 cases in the country, with 3,909 recoveries and 957 deaths.

 (PNA/ Azer Parrocha/ SRNY/ RSP)

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