Researchers from the University of the Philippines are recommending a 15-day modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) extension in Metro Manila and nearby provinces, saying that “premature” lifting of MECQ could result in an “uncontrolled” COVID-19 surge.
The latest UP OCTA research said the COVID-19 cases in the country could reach 210,000 by the end of August if the 15-day MECQ extension is imposed. However, reverting to a lighter restriction on August 18 may lead to 230,000 to 250,000 cases.
The researchers said while “economically painful,” extending the MECQ would result in a “more durable” opening later on with testing, tracing, isolation, and treatment capabilities in place.
“If we lift the MECQ prematurely, we will need to deal with the outbreak in the NCR entering a phase of uncontrolled and very rapid growth,” the researchers added.