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Health-economy balance to determine next quarantine status

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Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press statement said on April 25, 2021, the next quarantine status for Metro Manila and four nearby provinces after April 30 will hinge on a delicate balance between health and economy.

“The members of the IATF, in their next meeting, would look into the analytics of the healthcare system of the National Capital Region Plus and the country,” Sec. Roque said.

Roque said the IATF-EID will specifically review the attack rate and the hospital care utilization rate while checking the economic health of the nation.

“Our approach is whole-of-government and our overarching goal is to promote the total health of Filipinos, including people who have been marginalized due to loss of jobs and have experienced poverty as a result because of the imposition of strict lockdowns,” he added.

Whether the quarantine status will be relaxed or retained, Roque assured that the IATF-EID will decide on the basis of science and hard data.

In a radio interview on Sunday, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said the IATF is set to tackle the next quarantine classifications for NCR Plus on Tuesday.

OCTA Research earlier urged the government to retain the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) status in Metro Manila until the reproduction rate is less than 0.9 in a sustained manner.

Metro Manila’s reproduction rate is currently at 0.93.

NCR Plus, which refers to Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal, is currently under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) until the end of the month.

Besides NCR Plus, the City of Santiago in Isabela, Quirino (Region 2), and Abra in the Cordillera Administrative Region are also under MECQ.

Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya (Region 2), Batangas (Region 4-A), Tacloban City (Region 8), Iligan City (Region 10), Davao City (Region 11), and Lanao del Sur (BARMM), and Quezon are under general community quarantine (GCQ).

The rest of the Philippines is under the least restrictive modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

As of Sunday, health authorities recorded 8,162 new Covid-19 cases bringing the total number of cases in the country to 997,523.

The Department of Health also recorded 109 more deaths, bringing the death toll to 16,783 and 20,509 new recoveries raising the recovery tally to 903,665. (Azer Parrocha, PNA)

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