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Metro Manila on brink of COVID-19 outbreak, says UP professor

Metro Manila is on the brink of a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak due to the continued rise in the number of infections in the capital region, a University of the Philippines professor said on Tuesday.

UP Resilience Institute executive director Mahar Lagmay made the statement during an online press conference organized by Malacañang.

“Ang Metro Manila ay nandoon na sa threshold ng ating probability of outbreak,” Lagmay said. “Actually outbreak threshold na sa Metro Manila dahil sa taas po ng numero ng mga cases na active ng COVID.”

Data from the Department of Health showed Metro Manila accounted for 4,600 out of the 6,599 COVID-19 cases so far in the Philippines. The region had 289 deaths and 434 recoveries as of Tuesday.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said an outbreak will overwhelm the healthcare system as he underscored the importance of containment measures  such as the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

“Kung talagang outbreak, ibig sabihin, baka hindi po makayanan ng health system sa lugar na iyon na bigyan ng medical attention lahat ng magkakasakit kung tuluyang ititigil ang ECQ,” Roque said.

“Alam naman natin na kapag tuluyang itinigil ay talagang  magsho-shoot up ang cases.”

The fate of the Luzon-wide quarantine, which will end on April 30, will be decided by President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday. -MDM, GMA News