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DILG chief Año confident COVID-19 cases to decrease amid MECQ

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año on Friday expressed confidence that the number of COVID-19 infections would decrease during the enforcement of the modified enhanced community quarantine in some areas, including Metro Manila.

At the sidelines of an event in Camp Crame, Año said he'd rather that the MECQ in Metro Manila, Rizal, Laguna, Cavite and Bulacan not be extended for the sake of the country's economy.

"Huwag naman sana [ma-extend] kasi gusto talaga natin ay makapagbukas pa rin tayo ng ekonomiya, balance between health and economy. Titingnan natin 'yung figures," Año said.

"Pero ako, I'm optimistic na with the 15 days MECQ, bababa 'yan. Ang kailangan lang ay sumunod, huwag na tayo maging pasaway," he added.

The MECQ in Metro Manila and the other areas will be from August 4 to 18.

On Thursday, chief implementer of the government's COVID-19 response Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. admitted that the 15-day enforcement of MECQ in these areas is not enough to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Galvez said the national government would check if there is a need to recalibrate the measures in fighting the pandemic.

Earlier, Malacañang said extending the duration of MECQ could have negative effects on the country's economy.

So far, the Philippines has 119,460 COVID-19 infections, making it the hotspot of the disease in Southeast Asia.

The virus has plunged the country into a technical recession. —KBK, GMA News