DOH: Province-, region-wide lockdowns 'ineffective' to current COVID-19 response | Inquirer News
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DOH: Province-, region-wide lockdowns ‘ineffective’ to current COVID-19 response

/ 12:29 PM September 06, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Lockdowns covering a whole province or region seemed ineffective in the government’s current COVID-19 response, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said on Monday.

“Pinag-aralan po natin ang mga kaso natin at saka mga restrictions natin for these past weeks. Nakita po natin na ‘yung big or province-wide or region-wide na mga restrictions, mukhang hindi na effective dun sa ginagawa nating response because mobility is there already,” Vergeire said in a media forum.

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(We studied our cases and restrictions for these past weeks. We saw that big or province-wide or region-wide restrictions seem to not be effective to our response because mobility is already there.)

With this observation, the Department of Health (DOH) supported the proposed granular lockdowns to be implemented, noting that only a few areas in a certain city have high COVID-19 cases.

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“Nagkaroon kami ng analysis… kung saan tinignan po ang kalagayan ng bawat barangay sa isang area at nakita po natin sa pag-aaral na ‘to, ang mga nagkakaroon ng maraming sakit or infections in a city, for example, ay halos kakaunti lang na barangay but already comprises 80 percent of their cases,” the official said.

(We had an analysis where we looked into the situation in each barangay in an area and we saw that most of the infections in a city, for example, is only a few, but it already comprises 80 percent of their cases.)

With this more lenient lockdown, local government units have the authority to impose the lockdowns in areas with high cases of COVID-19 to allow mobility for the peoples’ livelihood.

“Kaya mas lalo po naming ipinush na talagang kailangan siguro ay granular lockdown na lang para hindi naman tayo nagsasara nang husto at naapektuhan din po ang mga kababayan natin in terms of their livelihood,” she mentioned.

(That’s why we are pushing to implement granular lockdowns so that we may not totally close and affect fellow Filipinos in terms of livelihood.)

The DOH may release the guidelines on granular lockdowns by Tuesday, Vergeire said.

“Ito po ay ifa-finalize na namin ngayong hapon, kasama po ang IATF-TWG, together with MMDA, and ito po ay ipapa-apruba sa IATF officials tomorrow. So, antayin lang natin para makapagbigay kami ng full guidelines, maybe by tomorrow, dahil pag-uusapan pa po ‘yun,” Vergeire explained in a media forum on Monday.

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(We are finalizing the proposal this afternoon, together with the Inter-Agency Task Force [IATF] on Emerging Infectious Diseases – Technical Working Group and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, and it is up for approval by IATF officials. Let’s wait so we can provide full guidelines, maybe by tomorrow.)

To recall, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año earlier said that granular lockdowns would replace the imposition of community quarantine classifications.

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IATF approves granular lockdowns with Metro Manila as pilot area starting Sept. 8

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