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GCQ extension in metro urged

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The research team that monitors and evaluates COVID-19 trends favored retaining the general community quarantine for Metro Manila because of still rising infections.

We don’t think (we are) ready na tayo sa pag (to) further relax because we are seeing some alarming indicators,” University of the Philippines Professor Guido David of OCTA Research Team told CNN Philippines’ Newsroom Weekend on Saturday.

David noted the average number of infections recorded daily in Metro Manila rose by 15 percent, from 350 last week to around 400 this week.

It remains unclear what triggers the surge, but the OCTA research fellow said it may be due to increased mobility, community transmission, or testing backlogs as some COVID-19 laboratories were forced to suspend operations because of successive typhoons.

Guido said further easing restrictions and increasing capacity in establishments in Metro Manila “could lead to a genuine increase in the number of cases.

On the other hand, while the cities of Baguio and Davao are still classified as high-risk due to high positivity rate and dwindling capacity to cater to patients, their situation is significantly improving, Guido said. This is due to the intensified efforts of concerned local governments, he added.

But the same cannot be said for Metro Manila, Calabarzon and Central Luzon, whose situations are “getting worse,” he said, adding people should remain vigilant against the virus.

Metro Manila mayors have also suggested keeping existing protocols in place to reduce possible infections during the holidays.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque earlier said that President Rodrigo Duterte will address the nation on Monday, Nov. 30, to announce the quarantine rules for Dec. 1 to 31.