No alternative but to reopen economy amid spike in new COVID-19 cases — Palace
MANILA, Philippines — While saddened by the spike of new coronavirus cases recorded, Malacañang said the government has no alternative but to reopen the economy.
The Philippines recorded 2,434 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, raising the total number of cases nationwide to 44,254.
“Marami po ang kinabahan sa ulat na ito, maging kami ay nalungkot noong una naming narinig ito (Many got nervous upon hearing this, and we were also saddened by it),” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Monday in an online briefing.
“Ang tingin ko po, wala naman tayong alternatibo kundi magbukas po talaga ng ekonomiya… Kung hindi pa po natin mabubuksan, e baka mamaya buhay nga tayo pero mamamatay tayo dahil wala tayong hanapbuhay,” he added.
(I think we don’t have an alternative but to really open the economy. If we do not reopen, we may be alive but we will die because we do not have livelihoods.)
Most areas in the country are either under general community quarantine (GCQ) or modified GCQ where most businesses are allowed to resume operations at a limited capacity.
The lone area under the strictest lockdown measure or enhanced community quarantine is Cebu City.
Roque said the government is looking at the balance between health and economy, noting that most of the new cases are mild.
“Habang tumataas ang numero, tignan po natin ang mga datos. Ang mabuting balita po, kung matatawag ninyong mabuti yan, karamihan po ay asymptomatic o di naman kaya mild yung kaso ng nagkakasakit,” he said.
(While the numbers are increasing, let’s look at the data. The good news is, if you can call this good news, many are asymptomatic or mild cases.)
Nonetheless, Roque said the government is not ruling out the option of returning to stricter quarantine.
“Hindi ko naman sinasabi yan dahil kapag lumala talaga, at nawalan tayo ng critical care capacity, o di kaya yung kanyang case doubling rate ay bumalik sa dati na napakabilis, wala po tayong alternatibo,” Roque said.
(I’m not saying this but if it worsens and we lose our critical care capacity or the doubling rate returns to what it was before which was really fast, we don’t have an alternative.)
“Pero yun nga po ang ating pinapakiusap sa ating mga kababayan, pag tayo po ay bumalik sa mas striktong quarantine, baka wala na po tayong hanapbuhay na puwedeng gawin,” he went on.
(But that’s our appeal to our countrymen, if we return to stricter quarantine, we may lose our livelihoods.)
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