Enforce ‘time-bound ECQ’ in areas with ‘unusually high’ COVID cases — Lacson
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Panfilo Lacson said he favors a strict lockdown similar to an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) but only for a limited time and only in areas with an “unusually high” number of COVID-19 infections.
“I would support a time-bound ECQ- type lockdown but only in areas with (an) unusually high number of Covid infections so as not to further punish an already suffering economy,” Lacson told INQUIRER.net in a message.
“These are identified areas in Metro Manila, Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon), and Central Visayas as the daily records would indicate,” he added.
According to Lacson, the imposition of stricter restrictions should be “time-bound” in order to allow the business sector to “plan in advance their way forward and make adjustments in their business activities like production, marketing and the like.”
“At the same time, the bulk of the roll-out of vaccines should be concentrated in these areas as well. There is no saying that other regions will be completely denied their share of the vaccines,” the senator said.
“In short, prevention and cure should go hand in hand. This is where continuing assessment and corresponding adjustments in the plan already laid out should be made depending on the prevailing needs and priorities on the ground,” he added.
A “greater restriction” in protocols being implemented in Metro Manila is possible, but not to the level of an ECQ or modified ECQ, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III earlier said.
While Metro Manila remains under general community quarantine, local mayors last week have agreed to adopt uniform curfew hours in a bid to curb a surge in COVID-19 cases.
Other localities have also started to implement other measures such as liquor bans and granular lockdowns.
“Let’s look at the numbers. We reached a point when we were only hitting 600 a day but now we’re hitting 5,000, almost 6,000. So it’s ten times so again they should look back and assess the situation and then move forward by making some adjustments,” Lacson said in an interview over ABS-CBN News Channel.
The senator called for continuous assessment of the situation on the ground before policies can be implemented.
“We should adapt to the situation on the ground. Hindi pwedeng walang study. That’s why it’s very important for the health authorities, those concerned to really make a continuous study, assessment, analysis bago gumawa ng mga action,” he said.
“Because if we do it always by the book, without even making adjustments on what’s happening on the ground then mamamali tayo,” he added.
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