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MECQ areas should boost pandemic efforts: gov’t adviser



Areas deemed “high-risk” for coronavirus infections and placed under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) should boost their pandemic strategies to arrest the spread of Covid-19, a government’s medical adviser said Wednesday.

Dr. Ted Herbosa, adviser of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), added that local government units should increase their health systems capacity to attend to Covid-19 patients.

“Hopefully, this MECQ will lessen the number of active cases due to isolation, as well as symptoms of those who were ill,” Herbosa said in a televised briefing.

“This is what we should while they were in MECQ and to contain the increasing number of cases,” he added.

The health department and researchers monitoring pandemic figures have previously expressed concern that several provinces in the country were seeing an increase in Covid-19 cases.

The provinces of Cagayan, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, and the entire Zamboanga Peninsula were placed under a more restrictive classification dubbed MECQ until 15 June.

The cities of Santiago in Isabela, Puerto Princesa in Palawan, Iloilo in Iloilo Province, and Butuan in Agusan del Sur were likewise placed under the same quarantine classification for two weeks.

Meanwhile, the NCR Plus area remained under general community quarantine “with restrictions” for two weeks after more than a month of strict community quarantine.

The stricter restrictions in NCR Plus, which accounts for 60 percent of the Philippines’ gross domestic product, were imposed by the government in an effort to restrict mobility amid a fresh surge in coronavirus infections.

All other areas were placed under modified GCQ starting 1 June until the end of the month.