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IATF to tackle quarantine status of NCR, some areas Tuesday —Año

Government task force on COVID-19 response will meet on Tuesday, April 27, to discuss recommendations on the next quarantine classifications for the National Capital Region and four neighboring provinces (NCR Plus), Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said Sunday.

Resolutions from the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID will be sent to President Rodrigo Duterte for his final decision.

"May pulong na gaganapin ang IATF, kung hindi ako nagkakamali, sa Tuesday. Doon mapag-uusapan ng husto kung ano ang susunod na classification ng NCR Plus at iba pang mga lugar sa kapuluan na under MECQ status pa rin tulad ng Abra, Quirino," Año told "Dobol B TV."

(In our next meeting, we will tackle the new classifications of quarantine in NCR plys by Tuesday. We will also study the new lockdown classifications for areas such as in Abra and Quirino.)

Metro Manila and its surrounding provinces of Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite, and Laguna are under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) until the end of April.

Prior to this, these areas were placed under ECQ, the strictest lockdown classification, for two weeks beginning March 29. 

Earlier, independent group OCTA Research, advised the national government to maintain MECQ in Metro Manila unless the reproduction number, or the number of people that can be infected by the virus, significantly dropped.

The current reproduction number of Metro Manila is at 0.93

However, Año noted that health officials found out that cases continue to rise, but slower than the usual.

"Gumanda na ang trend ngayon yun nga, bumaba rin ang reproduction number. Maganda iyon" (The trend is going downward as well as the reproduction number. That's a good indication), he said.

Likewise, he said they are looking into the  hospital capacity and health care workers in making their recommendations for the quarantine classification of an area.

"Kailangan mapababa yung [utilization] ng health care capacity, COVID ward beds, ICU beds pati isolation facilities para 'di tayo ma-overwhelm," said Año.

(Health care capacity utilization needs to slowly go down as well as COVID ward beds, ICU beds, and isolation facilities.)  —LBG, GMA News