Group frowns on less strict Metro Manila GCQ as DOH marks highest virus surge
MANILA, Philippines — The Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) slammed on Monday the opinion of Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana that Metro Manila could again be placed under a less restrictive general community quarantine (GCQ).
The labor group pointed out that on the same day the Department of Health (DOH) had just recorded the country’s single-highest surge in COVID-19 cases.
According to the labor group, data from the government itself contradicted the Lorenzana’s statement that COVID-19 cases nationwide were on a downward trend — making it feasible to switch from the current modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) to a GCQ.
On Monday, however, the DOH COVID-19 bulletin showed 6,958 newly-reported cases on that day alone— another record highest single-day increase, topping the 6,352 additional cases recorded on Aug. 4.
Of the 6,958 newly-reported cases, 4,163 are in Metro Manila.
“Our coffee hasn’t even gone cold. The data itself reveals the faulty proposal of Secretary Lorenzana for the premature return of GCQ in NCR [National Capital Region,” the BMP said in a post in Filipino on Facebook.
Hindi pa lumalamig 'yung kape natin. Datos na mismo ang nagbulgar sa palpak na panukala ni Lorenzana para sa adelantadong pagbabalik sa GCQ ng NCR.
Earlier, BMP Chairman Leody de Guzman questioned Lorenzana’s basis for saying that Metro Manila was ready for another set of lighter quarantine restrictions.
De Guzman said such a move would serve only the interests of big businesses.
“How can Mr. Lorenzana say that we are ‘ready’ just because of a single-day drop in reported cases? Even to the casual eye, the recent COVID-19 data shows that there is no such evidence to say that we are ‘ready’,” De Guzman said in a statement.
Lorenzana told ABS-CBN News Channel in an interview that the Metro Manila was again ready to be under GCQ as COVID-19 cases had started to recede.
“Yes, I think the trend is going down. Yesterday, there were only around 3,000 cases — down from 6,000 previously,” he said, speaking partly in Filipino. “I think we are ready to go down. We cannot continue with the MECQ because we already know the areas where there are infections. Those are what we will focus on so that the others can also go to work.”
The MECQ was previously declared by President Rodrigo Duterte over Metro Manila — along with the provinces of Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite, and Laguna — due to the continued increase of COVID-19 cases.
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