Palace places NCR, 4 provinces under stricter quarantine

A police calls the attention of a lady who left her house to buy food in Addition Hills in Mandaluyong where granular lockdown is implemented to at the area of Block 41 Zones 4, 5, and 9 due to covid cases. (Photo by Michael Varcas)

Malacanang placed on Saturday the National Capital Region (NCR) and the provinces of Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite and Laguna under the stricter enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) from March 29 (Monday) until April 4, 2021 to arrest the increase in coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases.

The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) recommended to Malacanang placing under ECQ the capital region and the four provinces after the Department of Health (DOH) on Saturday recorded 9,595 new Covid-19 infections, bringing to 118,122 the number of active cases in the country.

The IATF-EID said that previous ECQ guidelines as provided in the Omnibus Guidelines to be followed will be subjected to the review, recommendations and amendments of the IATF Technical Working Group as may be necessary.

For public transportation, the Department of Transportation shall be set the capacity and issue guidelines, and constructions projects shall be allowed subject to the guidelines to be issued by the Department of Public Works and Highways.

On the daily Covid-19 count, the DOH on Saturday also reported the rise of the recovery tally to 581,161 after 481 more survivors were confirmed.

Ten new fatalities were also recorded, bringing to 13,159 the death toll.

Of the 712,442 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic, 16.6 percent are active cases, 81.6 percent are recoveries, and 1.85 percent are fatalities.

Most of the active cases have mild symptoms, accounting for 95.1 percent of those undergoing treatment, while 3.2 percent are asymptomatic, 0.7 percent are critical, 0.7 percent are severe, and 0.39 are moderate.

Nationwide, 56 percent of the total 1,900 intensive care unit (ICU) beds for Covid-19 patients are occupied, including 43 percent of the 13,500 isolation beds and 44 percent of the 6,000 ward beds.

In the NCR, the DOH said 700 ICU beds are allocated for Covid-19 cases, of which 73 percent or 511 are occupied.

Also utilized are 67 percent of the 3,800 isolation beds and 58 percent of the 2,200 ward beds in hospitals within the National Capital Region.

The DOH said 36 percent of the 2,000 ventilators available nationwide are also in use.

Amid the surge in cases, the DOH reminded the public to stay at home and postpone all non-essential travels. It also advised those who exhibit Covid-19 symptoms to coordinate with Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams and the One Hospital Command Center.

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