San Juan hopes daily COVID cases will drop under MECQ status

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 12) — The local government of San Juan expects a drop in daily COVID-19 cases after the city's shift to a looser quarantine status until the end of the month.

In an interview with CNN Philippines' New Day on Monday, San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora said a significant number of recoveries may be reported after the two-week enhanced community quarantine in Greater Manila area.

Other cities in Metro Manila, as well as the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan and Rizal are now placed under the modified enhanced community quarantine until April 30, based on the latest decision of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

"Before ECQ we are growing at an exponential rate," Zamora said. "After two weeks of ECQ, we saw this number stopped growing and I believe it will start to drop now because every single day, we have recoveries. Those who have finished their quarantine will be tagged as recovered, thus, this number will go down."

Zamora said mobility is still limited in the city, citing a uniform curfew between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. in Metro Manila.

"Mass gatherings are prohibited. Any gathering can only be up to 10%, outdoor exercise is only allowed just within the barangay or village and we have a curfew now at 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.," he said.

READ: Metro Manila, six provinces to shift to MECQ 

Zamora also said they are ramping up their isolation and treatment efforts for the sick. They are following the triaging system imposed by the government to accommodate severe COVID-19 cases in hospitals and assess the condition of mild cases who can be accommodated in quarantine facilities.

"We will be opening new container vans with individual rooms and toilets in the next five days. This will accommodate more quarantine patients," he said.

The city has also vaccinated 7,513 residents so far but is eyeing inoculation of 600 up to 800 people per day to further control transmission.

Zamora added that of the ₱98 million worth of cash aid allocated to San Juan, ₱34 million has been disbursed to residents last week.

The nationwide COVID-19 case tally is at 864,868, with 11,681 new cases on Sunday. The number of survivors surged to a new high with 55,204 more recoveries.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the commitment of private hospitals in Metro Manila to boost the bed capacity for COVID-19 cases prompted the government to ease restrictions to MECQ.