The MECQ restrictions in Puerto Princesa City that began at the onset of June has somehow contained the rise of COVID-19 infections in the city, according to city health authorities.

Dr. Dean Palanca, head of the City Incident Management Team (City IMT), in a live press briefing aired on Monday evening, said that the daily average of COVID-19 cases has dipped to between 60 to 80 cases, a drop from last month’s moving average of 120 cases.

“Sa aking sariling opinyon, nasa kalagitnaan na tayo [ng surge]. [Ang] mga cases natin, both RT-PCR at antigen tested, pumapalo siya [ng] 60-80 every day. Nakikita namin na ito ‘yong peak natin, plateau na siya. Almost every day nandito ‘yong data natin na nagpa-plateau na siya. Hindi naman siya pataas, pero hindi rin naman pababa,” Palanca said.

On May 24, local health officials noted the highest recorded number of active COVID-19 cases in the city at 728, prompting the city government to upgrade its quarantine classification to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) from June 1 to 15.

The city government had recommended a step down to general community quarantine (GCQ) starting June 15, but Malacañang had decided to extend the city’s MECQ status for another 15 days until the end of June.

Doctor Palanca, however, clarified that the decrease in COVID-19 cases is yet to be properly evaluated after the imposition of MECQ by June 30, pointing out that urban barangays continued to report new cases.

“Nangunguna ang malalaking barangays. Una na diyan ang San Miguel, San Pedro, Sta. Monica, Tiniguiban, San Manuel, Bancao-bancao, Sicsican, Mandaragat, Bagong Sikat, Maunlad, Tagburos, Tanglaw,” Palanca added.

Dean also noted an “outbreak” in the Puerto Princesa City Jail infecting at least 123 persons deprived of liberty (PDL) testing positive under antigen test.

“Right now, nasa gitna na tayo. Nasa plateau na tayo. Hindi na siya tumataas ng tumataas. Kailangan i-observe lang ang tamang protocol,” Palanca said.

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is a desk editor and senior reporter of Palawan News. He covers politics, environment, tourism, justice, and sports. In his free time, he enjoys long walks with his dog, Bayani.