The chances of easing quarantine restrictions in Metro Manila remain remote because the case doubling time is too short although the government has expanded its critical care capacity.
Metro Manila, the hot spot of cases in the country, currently has a case doubling rate of nine days. It accounts for half of the total and active COVID-19 infections in the country.
“On the basis of critical care capacity, if we proceed with the inauguration and use of the 250 additional bed capacity, it’s possible. But another factor is the case doubling rate. It must be longer, we are presently at nine, but MGCQ (modified general community quarantine) requires at least 28 days,” Roque explained.
Metro Manila, Bulacan, Laguna, Cavite, and Rizal are under modified enhanced community quarantine until Aug. 18. On Thursday, COVID-19 cases reached 147,526, of which 74,713 are active cases.
President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to address the nation on Aug. 17 to announce the new community quarantine classifications. Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases already had recommendations for other parts of the country.
In recent weeks, the government has aggressively moved to expand the critical care capacity of hospitals.
Roque cited the ongoing expansion of East Avenue Medical Center, Quirino Memorial Medical Center, Quezon Institute and Philippine General Hospital.
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