Angara warns ‘collapse’ of economy if NCR reverts to MECQ
MANILA, Philippines — Reverting Metro Manila to the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) status would trigger the economy’s collapse, Senator Sonny Angara warned Thursday.
“The economy will probably collapse if we go back to MECQ and we’re just postponing the inevitable, because that type of approach, it’s not really the model approach,” Angara said in an interview over ABS-CBN News Channel.
President Rodrigo Duterte is set to announce his decision on whether to lift, extend, or modify the different quarantine measures placed on Metro Manila and several provinces on Thursday.
In an earlier television interview, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque did not categorically answer if Metro Manila will revert to being under more stringent quarantine measures following a surge of cases in the capital region.
Instead, Roque had said: “Metro Manila will be a living experiment and it’s an experiment that we believe we can be successful at, and it will be something that we can be proud of.”
But Angara balked at the possible return to rigid lockdowns as a means of containing the spread of the virus, pointing out that the ”lockdown approach is trying to avoid it (coronavirus) and trying to postpone the inevitable.”
“The model approach is trying to live with COVID, not trying to avoid COVID. At some point in time, you have to face it and you have to learn how to live with the virus, you have to increase your testing,” the senator, a COVID-19 survivor, went on.
He underscored the need to further increase the country’s testing capacity and to improve contact tracing efforts.
“Whether you’re a private company or the government, you have to periodically test your people so that, because the virus is just, it’s alive and thriving, so what your test is two days ago it could be completely different in 24 hours,” he said.
Metro Manila has been under general community quarantine (GCQ) for nearly two months now.
The number of coronavirus cases in the country continues to surge on a daily basis. Health authorities attributed this increase to the country’s improved testing capacity and the increased contact among the population as a result of the relaxation of quarantine measures to reopen the pandemic-battered economy.
To date, the Philippines has recorded 85,486 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 26,996 recoveries and 1,962 deaths, even higher than the official recorded figures of China, where the virus is believed to have originated.
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