Metro Manila mayors want 2-week NCR lockdown, inoculations without classifications
MANILA, Philippines — The 17 mayors of Metro Manila are willing to impose an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) for two weeks and suggest that vaccination during that period be open to all — without classifications.
The mayors agreed on that suggestion on the advice of health experts, Chairman Benhur Abalos of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said in a statement issued on Wednesday.
Abalos, a former mayor of Mandaluyong, said they would ask the national government for at least four million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to be administered to residents of the National Capital Region during the two-week lockdown.
This is aimed at preventing the spread of the more dangerous Delta variant of the disease.
The mayors will make the request for an ECQ to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), Abalos said.
The mayors, he added, stressed that the national government should be able provide financial aid through the Social Amelioration Program (SAP).
“Needless to say, SAP is important to address the concerns of underprivileged families as they will be the ones who will be greatly affected by the ECQ declaration,” he added.
The mayors will also see to it that there would be an implementation of aggressive contact tracing, mass testing, and strict isolation.
The mayors also vowed to meet daily to assess the situation in their areas and discuss further courses of action so that they could make recommendations to the IATF about quarantine restrictions and measures.
“We appeal to the public to avoid complacency and still follow the standard health protocols. Let us not put our guards down,” Abalos said.
The OCTA Research Group earlier warned that Metro Manila hospitals might again be overwhelmed if a stricter lockdown would not be imposed, in which case the region would see over 5,000 average daily new COVID-19 cases by the end of August.
The Department of Health (DOH) also said that the Delta variant might raise daily COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila to 11,000 by the end of September.
So far, the DOH has confirmed a total of 119 cases of the Delta variant among returning overseas workers and those that were tagged as local cases. Twenty-one of these patients are at the Philippine General Hospital in Manila.
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