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Stricter quarantine seen in April

Amid spike in coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases in the country, the government might be forced to impose a stricter community quarantine in April, Malacañang said yesterday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque floated the possibility of a more restrictive quarantine status in the country if healthcare utilization rate and bed care utilization rate reached the “critical” level.

“We have fixed formulas on [implementing nationwide community] quarantine. So, if our healthcare [and bed] utilization rate[s] become critical, then, that may justify changing our quarantine status),” he said in a virtual presser.

Covid-19 infections have ticked up further, as the Department of Health reported more cases of new coronavirus strains.

The Philippines on Wednesday reported an additional 4,387 Covid-19 cases, bringing the country’s total case count to 635,698.

On Monday, the Philippines logged 5,404 new infections, the highest single-day count recorded this year.

OCTA Research, an independent research group monitoring the Covid-19 cases in the country, warned that daily cases nationwide may jump to 8,000 by month-end, and could even reach up to 20,000 by mid-April, if the upward trend in infections continues.

Roque remained confident that the government would be able to slow down the spread of Covid-19.

“In fact, it is slowing down already. It’s no longer 5,000 plus. And I think we can further slow it down gradually to 3,000, and then to 2,000, back to the 1,000 level,” he said.

Roque also said the local government units , with the cooperation of their constituents, are doing their best to contain Covid-19 within their respective localities.

Due to the rising Covid-19 cases, Metro Manila LGUs imposed tougher measures anew. The local officials in the country’s metropolis decided to implement a two-week curfew beginning March 15 and banned minors aged 18 and below outdoors to help curb coronavirus infections.*PNA

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