Be prudent in easing COVID-19 restrictions, House leader tells gov’t
MANILA, Philippines — It is better to err on the side of caution rather than to hastily ease coronavirus quarantine restrictions in the country at the expense of the healthcare system, Deputy Speaker for Trade and Industry Wes Gatchalian said Tuesday.
Gatchalian said that while he supports the gradual reopening of businesses in the country to help revive the economy, public’s safety must always come first.
“It is better to err on the side of caution because should another surge in cases occur, we might needlessly flood our almost in full-capacity hospitals to the detriment of the whole health care system,” Gatchalian said in a statement.
“We have to ensure that the COVID-19 cases in the country first stabilize to manageable levels before we began easing quarantine restrictions nationwide,” he added.
The lawmaker added that while the country is poised to receive its supply of COVID-19 vaccines in the coming days, the inoculation of the public does not necessarily guarantee immunity from the virus.
Gatchalian made the remark after acting socioeconomic planning Secretary Karl Chua recommended placing the country under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ), the most lenient quarantine status, to mitigate poverty and income loss amid the pandemic.
Most Metro Manila mayors and the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases also agreed to place the country under MGCQ.
However, President Rodrigo Duterte rejected this proposal, saying the “the Philippines would not be placed under MGCQ unless there is a rollout of vaccines.”