Healthcare Professionals Alliance Against COVID-19 opposed the proposal to place Metro Manila under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) as the more restrictive GCQ is set to end by September 30.
Dr. Antonio Dans, convenor of the alliance, said in an interview on Dobol B sa News TV that reopening and jumpstarting the economy are not enough reasons to shift to MGCQ.
“Tingin namin hindi sapat na dahilan yung hindi na kaya ng ekonomiya kasi pag yun ang dahilan ay para na tayong sumuko. Ika nga, aanhin ang kabuhayan kung wala na ang buhay,” he said.
On Monday, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said Metro Manila could shift to MGCQ after September 30, as this would “allow us to open more sectors in the economy.”
Dans said the real question is if the country is capable of addressing the pandemic. “Ang tanong: handa na ba tayong humarap sa virus?” he said.
The alliance had earlier proposed to the government measures in addressing COVID-19, including local government hotlines for possible cases, sufficient transportation for workers, workplace safety, and health technology assessment.
Dans said even internet connection is crucial in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.
Metro Manila not yet ready for MGCQ
“Yung internet, napakalaking role niyan. Unang-una yung ating data, di ba huli-huli? Parang tatlong linggo bago makumpleto kung ilan ba ang namatay today kasi manual ang ating data transmission,” he said.
He also stressed that other countries already use automated manual contact tracing while the Philippines still rely on manual methods.
“Yung mga app, yung mga computerized program to do that, kelangan niyan ng magandang internet connection,” Dans pointed out.
“The R for the Philippines is .92, and the R for (National Capital Region) is .83. These numbers are below 1, which is good,” Professor Ranjit Rye of the UP-OCTA Research team told reporters.
Rye added that the NCR needed to sustain the downtrend of infections for “few more weeks” before the authorities could consider placing the capital region under less stringent community quarantine status.