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Metro Manila returning to MECQ not a ‘foregone conclusion’ -Palace

It remains to be seen whether Metro Manila will return to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) next month, Malacañang said Tuesday.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said the possibility that the government will reimpose a stricter lockdown  in the capital region was not a “foregone conclusion” since the case doubling time improved to 8.9 days.

Roque, however, said the government will also have to consider the critical care capacity before making a decision. Metro Manila has been under general community quarantine since June 1.

“Tingnan po natin kung ano ang magiging desisyon, pero hindi po forgone conclusion na babalik tayo sa MECQ, dahil ang case doubling rate naman po ay hindi lumala, bumuti lang ng bahagya,” he said at a televised briefing.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases was scheduled to meet on Tuesday to discuss the fate of community quarantines after July 31. Its decision is subject to the final approval of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Experts from the University of the Philippines earlier projected that COVID-19 cases in the country would soar past 85,000 by July 31, which Roque previously said may prompt Metro Manila’s return to MECQ.

On Tuesday, the Philippines reported 83,673 cases, with 1,947 deaths and 26,617 recoveries.

Metro Manila accounted for 45,969 cases, including 30,851 active cases and 1,000 deaths. -MDM, GMA News