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OCTA Research welcomes MGCQ deferment sans COVID-19 vaccine rollout

OCTA Research welcomes MGCQ deferment sans COVID-19 vaccine rollout

The OCTA Research group has welcomed the deferment of the country’s transition to eased modified general community quarantine, saying it is needed to bring down the number of COVID-19 cases in the country.

Dr. Butch Ong of OCTA Research Group was referring to President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to defer the MGCQ protocol—a situation which allows expanded public transport and business operations and eases restrictions on mass gathering—pending the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. 

“This is a timely response na hindi na muna mag-open ang industries,” Ong said during the Laging Handa public briefing on Tuesday.

Ong said the reproduction rate of COVID-19 in the country, meaning the number of individuals a COVID-19 patient can infect, is at 1.22 for the last two weeks which is higher than the previous 1. 

“Noong nakaraan, hindi naman masyado tumataas pero hindi rin bumababa. And then there is a slight increase of cases over the weekend,” he added.

David then said Cebu province, Baguio City and Kalinga province also recorded a 15% COVID-19 positivity rate which should be strictly monitored.

Metro Manila, the Cordillera Administrative Region, Batangas, Tacloban City, Davao City, Davao del Norte, Lanao del Sur and Iligan City are under general community quarantine (GCQ) for the whole month of February. The rest of the country is under MGCQ until Feb. 28.

Last week, the National Economic and Development Authority proposed placing the entire country under MGCQ to combat rising hunger amid the pandemic.

The Philippines has recorded 563,456 COVID-19 cases as of Monday. Of this number, 522,874 recovered while 12,094 died. —KG, GMA News