The Department of Health has not yet proposed the implementation of tough lockdowns in Metro Manila so far, but they will not rule out the possibility if the spread of coronavirus disease continues to worsen amid localized restrictions.
That is what Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said in an interview with the ANC, Wednesday. As of today, 23,518 new COVID-19 cases of the National Capital Region in the past 14 days were recorded.
On Tuesday alone, 2,231 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Metro Manila. Of that number, 28,144 are still recovering in the main region.
“As of now, I don’t because the localized lockdowns are starting to yield positive outcomes… [I]f nothing changes and the cases continue to rise, then the possibility of a more widespread lockdown is certainly strong,” said Duque.
“Everything is possible, but we have to calibrate our response depending on the data that come in with the recommendation of our technical advisory group and our epidemiologist of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID)… If they say that we need to have a more widespread lockdown, then we will recommend to the president,” he added.
DOH won’t recommend Metro Manila-wide lockdown ‘for now’
Just yesterday, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said that there is no need to return to the strictest enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) especially with localized lockdowns. Hospitals are not overwhelmed either.
In conjunction with the granular lockdowns being implemented in some areas in Manila and Quezon City, it will be recalled that 10 p.m. until 5 a.m. curfew was implemented across Metro Manila on Monday. It will last until March 31st.
COVID-19 has hit 631,320 people in the Philippines so far, of which 12,848 have died. Malacañang, on the other hand, does not want to link the proliferation of cases to the opening of the economy, but to those who allegedly do not comply with minimum health standards.
In connection with the increase in COVID-19 cases in the Philippines, the National Task Force against COVID-19 has temporarily suspended all trips of foreigners and returning Filipinos who are not OFWs.