The reimposition of the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) over the National Capital Region will serve as a time to assess and address the issues faced by medical frontliners during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic (Covid-19), a medical group leader said on Monday.

Philippine Medical Association (PMA) President Dr. Jose Santiago Jr. said that both the health sector and the government will work towards solving the problems they raised in the letter they sent to the president calling for the return of the Enhance Community Quarantine (ECQ).

The letter, which was backed by around 80 medical societies in the country, included a seven-point notice highlighting issues faced by the health sector namely: hospital workforce deficiency, failure in case finding and isolation, failure in quarantining and contact tracing, transportation, workplace safety, health protocol compliance and social amelioration. 

“That (the reimposition of the MECQ) will make a big difference and a big help for the health workers to really find, to reflect upon what we’ve done for the last four months. We’re really going to make a definite plan and unified stand or really a call for a consolidated plan of action for this Covid-19,” Santiago said in an interview on ABS-CBN News Channel’s Headstart.

While they originally asked for the reimposition of ECQ, Santiago says that the MECQ will still provide health workers the “time out” they need to recuperate from the strenuous workload they had due to the influx of Covid-19 patients.

“Sometimes you really have to take a ‘time out’ to really replan or regroup [on] whatever resources are available, help manpower. We really have to give them some breather also. This is really a big difference now, the two weeks given by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte,” Santiago said. Carlito P. Topacio