MANILA, July 14 (Mabuhay) — The OCTA Research group on Tuesday recommended retaining the general community quarantine (GCQ) status in the National Capital Region (NCR) until the end of July as the growing threat of the infectious Covid-19 Delta variant looms.

In a Laging Handa briefing, OCTA Research Team fellow, Dr. Ranjit Rye, said Metro Manila is “not yet ready” to loosen lockdown restrictions to the least stringent modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) despite its situation improving significantly.

“So sa NCR (So, in the NCR,) I think we should continue with the GCQ… Although maganda ang sitwasyon ngayon sa NCR, kailangan ho ay tuluy-tuloy, ma-sustain natin ‘to habang sinasabayan natin ang pag-increase ng vaccination natin (Although the situation is currently good in NCR, this should be sustained as we increase our vaccination rates),” Rye said.

Rye, however, noted that the current business restrictions for Covid-19 could be relaxed to allow them to operate at a higher capacity.

Rye said the government should strengthen its monitoring and enforcement of minimum public health standards in order to shift to a less stringent quarantine classification.

“So para sa akin ha, mukhang we are not yet ready for MGCQ, definite na iyon (So for me, I think we are not yet ready for MGCQ. That is definite.) We do not qualify eh even based on government’s criteria for MGCQ, we won’t qualify pa as of now,” Rye said. “Marami na ho ang nagkukumpiyansa at nagpapabaya po lalo na dito sa minimum public health (Many people are becoming complacent and lenient when it comes to following minimum public health [protocols]).”

The OCTA Monitoring Report as of July 13 showed that the NCR had an average of 634 new Covid-19 cases per day for the period of July 6 to 12.

This was 2 percent lower than the previous week’s daily average of 646.

The OCTA report noted that the weekly growth rate has averaged -3 percent over the past three weeks, indicating that the trend is nearly level or flat. (MNS)

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