Olivarez: Metro Manila ‘most likely’ back to GCQ if virus numbers drop

Metro Manila Council chairman and Paranaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez on Saturday said the National Capital Region will most likely go back to general community quarantine (GCQ) status if the number of COVID-19 cases continues to decrease.

Olivarez claimed the implementation of the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) has been effective in Metro Manila.

He revealed he is set to meet on Monday National Task Force Chief Implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. to discuss new approaches to lower the number of COVID-19 cases when the metropolis returns to GCQ status next week.

The MMC is composed of the 17 mayors of Metro Manila.

The government placed Metro Manila and four nearby provinces under MECQ following the appeal made by health workers amid the increasing number of positive coronavirus cases.

The lack of PPEs (personal protective equipment), the filling of hospitals, the state of the country’s testing, tracing, and quarantine systems and how to improve them were some of the urgent issues raised by the health frontliners.

According to Olivarez, members of the city council, health officials and city COVID Task Force officials will accompany Galvez on Monday in visiting isolation facilities and conduct meetings with barangay officials to discuss on how to contain the spread of the virus.

“We welcome Sec. Valdez as our big brother in the fight against the pandemic,” said Olivarez, adding that the city government have been exercising transparency in reporting of COVID-19 cases for the past five months.

As of Saturday, the total number of active cases in Parañaque was 729 (21.1%) including no address or unknown barangay.

Total confirmed cases in the city is now 3,459, while recovered patients are 2,629 (76.0%) and deaths are at 101 (2.9%).

Olivarez pointed out that their coordination with the national government will be easier because there is a particular secretary in charge of Paranaque.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), though Resolution No. 62, said Cabinet members will oversee the implementation and compliance of LGUs to quarantine guidelines, monitor the status of the area’s healthcare system, and ensure a smoother communication between the national and local government.

Galvez last Thursday explained that Cabinet members would serve as "big brothers" and "big sisters" to local chief executives in the fight against the pandemic.

Cabinet members were only assigned because first, they live in their assigned areas and second, to give the officials support coming from the national government, he said.

Topics: Metro Manila Council , Edwin Olivarez , GCQ , COVID-19 , MECQ
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