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MECQ effect on infection rate won't be felt until after 2-3 wks, says DOH

The impact of the two-week modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in Metro Manila and nearby provinces would only manifest a couple of weeks after its implementation, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said on Friday.

"'Di pa natin masasabi ngayon kung nagkaroon na tayo ng epekto dito sa isinagawa natin MECQ o paghihigpit ulit ng community quarantine measures," Vergeire said at a televised briefing.

"Makikita natin 'yan after two to three weeks because we all know that the incubation period of the disease is about 14 days so kailangan hintayin natin 'yan kung may mga bago pang kaso na papasok," she added.

Metro Manila and nearby provinces have been placed under MECQ again from August 4 to 18 after medical frontliners called for a "time out" as cases continued to rise.

Chief implementer of the national action plan against COVID-19 Secretary Carlito Galvez, however, admitted that 15 days would not be enough to arrest the increasing number of cases.

According to Vergeire, part of the efforts within the two-week stricter lockdown period is the house-to-house visit at 10 barangays in Metro Manila for active COVID-19 case surveillance.

Other indicators of the success of the MECQ implementation would include higher awareness and compliance of the public with the minimum health standards, isolation of 100% of those who will be monitored with symptoms, and successful contact tracing of 95% of those with exposure to infected individuals, among others.

As of August 6, the number of people infected with COVID-19 in the Philippines has reached 119,460 and 50,473 of which are active cases.

More than half of the active cases are in Metro Manila. -MDM, GMA News