The Philippines is now “ready” if it switches into the less stringent modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) status, according to Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III.

Duque mentioned during his televised briefing that local government units (LGUs) already know to stop the transmission of the deadly coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) after a year of dealing with it. 

“Tayo po ay handa naman (We are ready),” Duque said when sought to comment on the possible shift to MGCQ nationwode by March.

“Naniniwala ako na ang ating LGUs ay handa naman ang kanilang sistema, ang kanilang mga health protocols, ang kanilang quarantine/isolation guidelines, infection/prevention control protocols, ang kanilang testing capacities, etc. para magluwag pa to MGCQ ang kanila pong quarantine status.

However, the OCTA Research Group reported “a slight upward trend” in COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila in a report released Saturday.

 “Over the past seven days (Feb. 13 to Feb. 19), the NCR had an average of 430 new COVID-19 cases per day, up 16 percent from the previous week average of 370 new cases per day,” the OCTA said in its report.

“A closer examination showed that some LGUs (local government units) had a spike in new COVID-19 cases. This increase may be due to the Chinese New Year or Valentine’s Day effects,” it added.

Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte is set to meet with his Cabinet members on Monday to discuss the possible shift of the Philippines to less stringent MGCQ. Ronald dela Cruz