October 1, 2023







NCR+ shifts to MECQ until April 30

President Duterte has approved the recommendation to place the National Capital Region-plus (NCR-plus) bubble under the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) until the end of the month.

In a virtual presser, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque announced that aside from the NCR-plus bubble area, the city of Santiago in Quirino and the province of Abra will be under the MECQ until April 30, 2021.

The following areas are under the general community quarantine (GCQ):

· Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR)

· Cagayan

· Isabela

· Nueva Vizcaya

· Batangas

· Quezon Province

· Tacloban City

· Iligan City

· Davao City

· Lanao del Sur

Meanwhile, the rest of the Philippines will be under the modified GCQ (MGCQ), the least strict quarantine classification.

The NCR-plus bubble area was under the ECQ for two weeks due to the alarming spike in COVID-19 cases in the country.

In his virtual presser, Roque said the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases recommended easing the quarantine restriction of the NCR-plus bubble due to the commitment of public and private hospitals to increase coronavirus (COVID-19)-dedicated beds following the directive of President Duterte to PhilHealth to expedite the payment of COVID-19 claims.

The public and private hospitals in the NCR-plus bubble committed to adding 164 more ICU or critical beds and 1,157 more regular beds for moderate and severe cases.

Other additional capacities which are ready are:

· 110 beds at Quezon Institute for moderate and severe cases

· 960 beds at National Center for Mental Health for moderate cases

· 300 beds at Manila Times College in Subic for mild and asymptomatic cases

· 165 beds at New Clark City in Tarlac for mild and asymptomatic cases

· 200 beds at Eva Macapagal Terminal in Manila for mild and asymptomatic cases

· 100 beds at Orion Bataan Pork Terminal for mild and symptomatic cases

During the two-week ECQ period, the country was able to add 3,156 beds in the NCR-plus bubble:

· 164 COVID ICU beds for critical cases

· 2,227 COVID regular beds for moderate and severe cases

· 765 COVID isolation beds for mild and asymptomatic cases

The healthcare utilization rate in the NCR-plus bubble as of April 11 are:

· COVID ICU beds: 74.34 percent

· COVID ward beds: 46.04 percent

· COVID isolation beds: 59.56 percent

In a separate statement, Roque said dedicated COVID-19 beds in isolation, quarantine, and health facilities in the NCR-plus bubble must be increased through the joint efforts of the Department of Education (DepEd), the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), and the Department of Health (DOH).