MANILA, Apr 10 (Mabuhay) — The two-week hard lockdown in Metro Manila and four nearby provinces may not be enough to stem the spread of COVID-19, an official of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said Saturday.

DILG officer-in-charge Bernardo Florece Jr. said the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on COVID-19 response is set to meet Saturday to discuss the lockdown status of the areas collectively known as NCR Plus under the 2-week enhanced community quarantine.

The ECQ period is set to end on April 11 and government is expected to make an announcement on quarantine levels later Saturday.

“Almost 2 weeks na tayo pero ‘di pa natin ganap na nararamdaman ‘yung epekto nito so probably another week will be enough,” Florece said.

“Pero at the end of the day, of course ang nagde-debate dyan members ng IATF at inaaral talaga kung ano ang rekomendasyon pero babase talaga sa available data sa science. ‘Yun ang pinagbabasehan ng IATF,” he said.

OCTA Research Group fellow Dr. Guido David had also recommended extending ECQ in NCR Plus to bring down the number of infections.

David had said that the reproduction rate in the bubble has gone down to 1.24, from Wednesday’s 1.43.

Florece said this figure should go lower.

“Dapat bumaba na ‘yung reproduction number at kulang na rin ang naoospital at namamatay. Ito ‘yung lahat na pinag-aaralan, meron naman tayong mga eksperto dito na nagre-recommend sa IATF,” said Florece.

On Friday, the Philippines reported a record-high 401 COVID-19 deaths, more than half of which have been reclassified, with active infections reaching an all-time high at over 178,000.(MNS)

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