DOH: Granular lockdowns to ‘safeguard’ NCR when MECQ is lifted
MANILA, Philippines — The implementation of “granular lockdowns” will safeguard Metro Manila and nearby provinces should the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) be lifted as scheduled on August 18, the Department of Health said Thursday.
According to Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, the national government is now guiding local government units in enforcing granular lockdowns, that will involve restricting the movement of residents in smaller areas instead of the entire region.
“Our safeguard if and when, the government will decide that we will be easing out on these restrictions, would be the granular lockdowns that we are now guiding LGUs with,” she said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel.
Vergeire said the government should consider the status of the strategies that are being implemented in the country’s coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response in deciding whether to downgrade the MECQ in Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, and Bulacan.
“This active case finding where we are doing the post-strategy and of course improving the capacity of our health system, all of these have to be considered before we can finally decide if we are going to ease quarantine measures or not,” she also said.
She added that the current number of COVID-19 cases and the capacity of the health system should likewise be considered.
Vergeire noted that “we have gained grounds” as some hospitals were decongested by the transferring of patients to other healthcare facilities with more available beds, and since some patients were likewise transferred to temporary treatment and monitoring sites.
“But we have to look at the other side of the coin, we have to look at the economic side, and our economic managers are already saying that if we push through and extend quarantine here in Metro Manila or other parts of the country, a lot of the people would suffer from hunger already and other diseases will also be evident so we also have to balance when we try to decide,” the health official pointed out.
As of Wednesday, the country has already recorded a total of 143,749 COVID-19 cases, with an additional 4,444 reported cases. Of the confirmed cases, 72,348 are active, 68,997 are recoveries, and 2,404 are deaths.
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