Duterte: Return to lockdown a possibility if new COVID variant spreads in PH
MANILA, Philippines — Reimposing strict lockdown measures is “a possibility” should the new COVID strain from the United Kingdom feared to be more infectious enters and spreads in the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte said Saturday.
“Actually, iyong lockdown is a possibility. I said we are making some projections but if the severity in number would demand that we take corrective measures immediately, then we just have to go back to lockdown,” Duterte said in a meeting with members of his Cabinet and infectious disease experts.
“Pagkarumami sila with the new strain, and in the meantime that we are not able to confront them effectively, I mean the virus, well just have to…tama iyan it depends on the severity in number. Kasi kapag marami na we do not have the antidote on how to kill those variants. We’re going to have a problem there,” he added.
(When they multiply with the new strain, and in the meantime that we are not able to confront them effectively, I mean the virus, well just have to… that’s right… it depends on the severity in number. Because when there are many infections we do not have the antidote on how to kill those variants.)
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson previously announced stricter restrictions in his country after experts found a more infectious strain of the coronavirus, which, he said, “maybe up to 70 percent more transmissible than the earlier strain.”
Several countries, including the Philippines, have since imposed travel bans on the United Kingdom to prevent the entry of the new strain.
In mid-March, Duterte placed the entire island of Luzon, home to around half the country’s total population, under an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) just days after a botched attempt to limit the movement of the people living and working inside Metro Manila.
The lockdown has since been eased with Metro Manila—the country’s economic center— staying under general community quarantine (GCQ) since June.
As of Saturday, there are 469,005 confirmed COVID-19 cases nationwide, including 431,055 recoveries and 9,067 deaths.
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