Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Saturday ruled out a possible shift to modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) for areas within the NCR Plus bubble.
“We cannot ease back to MGCQ,” Duque said in an interview with Dobol B TV.
“We will still discuss the final recommendation on Monday before we give it to the President,” the Health chief added.
NCR Plus – which covers Metro Manila, Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite, and Laguna was placed under General Community Quarantine with heightened restrictions from May 15 to 31.
Duque said the daily attack rate in Metro Manila remains at seven to eight cases per 100,000 population, higher than the ideal one to seven cases.
“Our daily attack rate is still at seven or eight, or sometimes even higher, which means there is continuous community transmission,” he said.
On Saturday, the country logged 7,443 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 1,216,582 as two laboratories failed to submit data on time, the Department of Health said.
This marked the second consecutive day wherein more than 7,000 cases were recorded.
The DOH also reported 156 new fatalities, bringing the death toll to 20,722, while some 7,533 more patients have recovered, bringing the total recoveries to 1,142,246.
Populated areas with a high number of COVID-19 cases will likely get the next delivery of Sputnik V vaccines, the department said.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire confirmed 50,000 doses of the Russian-made vaccine will arrive today (Sunday).
“We will be giving these to areas with a high number of cases, high burden of disease, and highly populous. The arriving Sputnik V jabs are few so only two or three areas might get these,” Vergeire said.
Vergeire said the initial 30,000 shots earlier received by the country were administered to the residents of Manila, Makati, Taguig, Parañaque, and Muntinlupa — five Metro Manila cities that have the capacity to store the Russian jabs.
Meanwhile, at least 35.5 million workers are targeted to be inoculated after the government simplified the A4 or essential workers group category.
“The first phase of vaccine deployment for the expanded A4 group will be focused on approximately 13 million additional workers in NCR+8 since these areas make up the majority of COVID-19 cases in the country,” the National Economic and Development Authority said in a statement.
“Another 22.5 million workers will subsequently be included from areas outside NCR+8, bringing the total estimate to 35.5 million,” it added.
The NCR+8 is composed of NCR Plus, Batangas, Pampanga, Metro Cebu, and Metro Davao.