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The 15-day MECQ is not sufficient to reach the COVID-19 response target

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 5) – The head of the country’s coronavirus response said on Thursday that it is unlikely and difficult to achieve the goals of the health department even after re-impressing a two-week modified improved quarantine in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

On Thursday, DOH spokeswoman Maria Rosario Vergeire announced the goals of the updated COVID-19 response plan that was implemented under the operating restrictions that are until August 18.

These are:

-Stop the use of rapid antibody test kits to confirm or control a Coronavirus infection

-Identify and crush infection clusters

-And stigmatization of COVID-1

9 patients

-Draw at least 37 close contacts for each confirmed case

-Find all active cases by going from house to house in high-risk communities

-Leave all suspected and confirmed cases to quarantine and isolation facilities

– Achieve a high level of compliance to the lowest health rules such as wearing face masks and exercising physical distance

-Fill in zero costs for COVID-19 patients

-Test all individuals who show COVID-19-like symptoms using RT-PCR or real-time polymerase chain reaction test

An RT-PCR test is considered the “gold standard” for Coronavirus testing because it can detect the actual presence of the virus, even if the patient shows no symptoms.

Vergeire said the DOH’s updated strategy aims to bring back a “health-focused, driven strategy to respond to COVID-19” by providing stronger support to local authorities who need it most.

She added that they will deploy teams to evaluate high-risk communities to follow protocols aimed at containing the spread of COVID-19.

She also said they will monitor the results of their responses to see if these are “adequate, appropriate and effective.”

“The various targets mentioned are tough … honestly, 15 days is not enough,” said Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr. at a press conference.

“But we will continue to pursue these goals,” Galvez added.

In the same briefing, Health Secretariat Leopoldo Vega said they “will deliver what has been promised.”

Vega added that they will do their best to ensure that when the economy reopens, they will respond better.

On August 1, the drug group asked President Rodrigo Duterte to place Mega Manila under ECQ for two weeks, noting the need to “recalibrate strategies” as the current response could not get COVID-19 under control.

Duterte made a compromise that re-impressed modified ECQ in Metro Manila, Laguna, Cavite, Rizal and Bulacan from 4 to 18 August.

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