COVID-19 downtrend will be observed after second week of ECQ, Duque says

By Patrick Caesar Belas

PHOTO: Philippine Star

Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III said on Thursday that the effect of Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) will not be immediately observed even though it has been implemented for a week in Metro Manila.

In an interview with DZMM TeleRadyo, Duque emphasized that the two-week growth rate is still high, which equates to fast virus contagion.

“Tataas pa rin yan kasi makikita natin ang epekto ng dalawang linggo na ECQ, week after next pa. Pagka natapos 'yung second week ng ECQ, doon lang natin maumpisahang makikita kung nababawasan na ba ang kaso at saka may reversal ng trend," the Health secretary explained.

Duque added that the continuous monitoring of trends is also important, citing the new 12,021  COVID-19 cases on Wednesday.

"Yung trend ang importante. Kahapon, tumaas. Tingnan natin ngayong araw. Harinawa, 'wag naman sumipa ng mataas pa,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Health secretary denied the statement of the traders’ association that the data may have been sensationalized amid the threat of the Delta variant, saying that the data are grounded from scientific basis.

“Hindi po ito sine-sensationalize. Ang batayan, malinaw. Ang datos natin, malinaw. Ang siyensya, ang medisina ay talagang sinasabi na mag-ingat kayo dito dahil alam naman natin ang nangyari sa India, ang Indonesia, ang Malaysia. Grabe ang taas ng mga kaso. Tayo, talaga pinag-iingat ingatan natin ito na hindi tayo matulad sa kanila,” Duque said.

He also said that he is considering the suggestion of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to put down the lockdown level from ECQ to lesser restricted modified ECQ and implement a granular lockdown to consider its impact on the businesses and workers.

“Yung sinasabi ng DTI, pwede namang pag-usapan yan sa IATF. MECQ but really hard and tough na granular lockdowns, at huwag papayagan ang non-essential activities. Marami naman pwedeng 'ika nga, tweaking or revisions,” Duque explained.

Furthermore, Duque said that it is not yet clear if there is a need to extend the ECQ.

Metro Manila was placed to the strictest lockdown level from August 6 to August 20 due to the threat of the new Delta variant.

Report source: ABS-CBN News