PNP understands quarantine fatigue but lockdown still needed vs COVID
MANILA, Philippines — The country’s police force sympathizes with Filipinos who are already worn out due to the numerous lockdowns and quarantine protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19, its top cop said on Tuesday.
However, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar explained that lockdown measures are necessary against the COVID-19 surge, especially with the more transmissible Delta variant looming over the country.
“Nauunawaan namin ang sinasabing quarantine burnout na nararamdaman ng ating mga kababayan subalit maling-mali ang pananaw na walang epekto ang mga paghihigpit na ito dahil ang mga public experts na mismo ang nag-rekomenda nito,” Eleazar said in a statement, reminding the public to continue following health protocols against the disease.
(We understand the so-called quarantine burnout which is being felt by Filipinos, but we have to understand that it is wrong to assume that the lockdowns and stricter measures have no effect because the public health experts themselves have recommended this.)
“At kami mismo sa PNP ay napatunayan naming kung gaano ka-epektibo ito upang maiwasan ang pagkalat ng virus,” he claimed.
(And we in the PNP ourselves can attest to how effective the lockdowns are in preventing the spread of the disease.)
Metro Manila is set to go through another enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) status from August 6 to 20, after President Rodrigo Duterte approved the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) resolution on the matter.
This is the third time Metro Manila would be under an ECQ status after the Luzon-wide lockdown in March 2020 — first in August 2020, second during the Alpha variant-led surge last March 2021, and then this latest ECQ declaration.
Several critics of the administration have slammed the government for resorting to lockdowns instead of being proactive in preventing outbreaks and the entry of more infectious variants in the country.
But Eleazar maintained that the lockdowns are needed, urging critics to look at the Delta variant’s effect on India and other countries where massive surges happened.
It has not been confirmed whether the Delta variant is already responsible for the uptick in COVID-19 cases in the country: on Monday, the Department of Health recorded 8,167 new infections, making it the fourth straight day with over 8,000 new cases daily.
However, analytics group OCTA Research speculated last week that seven percent of the country’s active patients may already be carrying the Delta variant. Then on Monday, they warned about the possibility of community transmissions already happening in Metro Manila.
“Nakita natin mismo ang epekto ng Delta variant sa India at nababalitaan kung gaano katindi ang virus nito sa iba pang bansang tinamaan nito kaya nararapat lamang ang agarang aksyon ng ating pamahalaan bago pa ito mauwi sa sisihan,” he explained.
(We saw the effects of the Delta variant on India and we heard how infectious the virus is from other areas hit, that is why it is only right for our government to implement quick actions before this falls down again to finger-pointing.)
The PNP chief also defended the quarantine measures employed — like strict border control and long curfew hours — saying that these deter people from doing mass gatherings, which are blamed for COVID-19 case clustering.
“The strict border control and the longer curfew hours are but some of the necessary interventions to prevent the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19,” he said.
“Sa pamamagitan ng curfew, maiiwasan ang pagkakaroon ng mass gatherings, gaya ng mga inuman o iba pang mga salo-salo, na malaki ang posibilidad na maging super spreader events,” he added.
(With the curfew, we can avoid having mass gatherings like drinking sprees or other get-together events, which have a high possibility of being super spreader events.)
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