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No Metro Manila lockdowns for first time since 2020

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Motorists queue up to cross from nearby Rizal province into Metro Manila, at a provincial border checkpoint in Quezon City, suburban Manila. AFP

No Metro Manila lockdowns for first time since 2020

For the first time since March 2020, no area or even household in any of Metro Manila’s 16 cities and one municipality was considered on lockdown, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) confirmed on Saturday.

Even across the nation, only four households, with seven Covid-19 infected individuals, in the Cordillera Administrative Region remained on granular lockdown, as of April 8.

The Philippine National Police, however, reported that there were still 292 quarantine control points throughout the country, but none in Metro Manila nor Central Luzon.

While previously called by different names – localised enhanced community quarantine, pocket lockdown, special concern lockdown – Metro Manila local governments have been implementing granular lockdowns since 2020, based on their own set of rules.

The local governments usually close off a barangay, street, establishment, compound or household where clustering of Covid-19 cases has been detected.

During a lockdown, which usually lasts from several days up to two weeks, authorities conduct mass testing on all residents in the area to detect even asymptomatic cases.

Lockdowns are only lifted when the local epidemiology and surveillance unit observed a significant downtrend in the number of active Covid-19 cases.

The Department of Health (DOH) earlier said the daily count of Covid-19 infections had hit a plateau in all areas of the country, with new cases reaching only 200-plus for four straight days.

The average daily infections from March 31 to April 6 also slid to 357 cases from 382 registered from March 28 to April 3. The country’s positivity rate is also now down to 1.8 per cent from 2 per cent during the same period.

But according to the DOH Covid-19 online tracker, the number of new cases rose to 302 on April 9, compared with 290 on April 8 .

Of the total 3,681,101 cases as of April 9, only 0.8 per cent were active cases. Majority of them asymptomatic, mild or moderate, according to the DOH.

Of the total confirmed Covid-19 cases, most were from the NCR 1, 170,678 (31.8 per cent).

With the improving Covid-19 situation in the country, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases reclassified more areas on Alert Level 1, the least restrictive in the five-tier quarantine classification.

As of Friday, there were 78 provinces, highly urbanised cities, and independent component cities, as well as 178 component cities and municipalities on alert level 1 until April 15. Meanwhile, the rest of the country remains at Alert Level 2.



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