Metro Manila mayors defer decision on NCR community quarantine status to IATF
MANILA, Philippines — The Metro Manila Council (MMC), composed of the National Capital Region’s mayors, deferred their decision on the next community quarantine status to the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman Benhur Abalos bared on Wednesday.
“The Metro Manila Council will defer to the decision of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) on the next community quarantine status to be implemented in the National Capital Region. The decision of the Metro Manila mayors who are in the battleground is very critical as they seek to find the balance between health and economic concerns,” Abalos said in a virtual press briefing.
In previous meetings, the MMC had come up with recommendations to the IATF. However, Abalos said that they have no decision considering that there is a surge now.
The chair noted that whatever the decision of the IATF is, the MMC will continue to boost its Prevent, Detect, Isolate, Treat, and Reintegrate strategy, COVID-19 vaccination, and contact tracing.
As of August 16, a total of 10,716,042 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Metro Manila.
During their meeting with health experts Tuesday evening, the situation of Metro Manila’s hospitals and COVID-19 cases were discussed as well as the economic impact of the quarantine status. There were also projections on different combinations of quarantine status, according to Abalos.
However, the chair said that the national government may not be able to provide additional financial aid to affected individuals if the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) is extended after August 20.
“Ngayon, nagbibigay pa kami ng ayuda… Maraming walang trabaho, maraming gutom. Ang tanong kung mag-ECQ ng another two weeks, I’m not sure about the ayuda. Baka wala nang ibigay ang nasyonal,” Abalos explained.
(Now, we are still distributing aid. Many are unemployed, many are hungry. The question is if the ECQ would be extended for another two weeks, I’m not sure about the aid. The national government may not provide anymore.)
Abalos shared that should Metro Manila shift to modified ECQ, he thinks granular lockdowns will be imposed.
In the meantime, Abalos said that the prohibition on outdoor exercise will be only until August 20 only. However, those who will exercise must wear their face masks.
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