DILG: NCR ECQ proposal to be discussed in meeting

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The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Sunday assured that calls for Metro Manila to be reverted back to the stricter enhanced community quarantine will be tackled during the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) meeting on Aug. 3.

DILG Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya issued the clarification after some medical workers requested that the National Capital Region (NCR) be under the more restricted quarantine rules due to the surging coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) cases.

DILG Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya
(PCOO / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

On Aug. 1, Philippine Medical Association (PMA) president Dr. Jose Santiago in an online press conference headed by the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP) noted that the health workers are overwhelmed by the upsurge of COVID-19 cases they are handling.

He relayed that the concerned health workers had urged the government to give them at least two weeks of “breathing space by shifting Mega Manila back to a strict lockdown.’’

“We’re waging a losing battle against COVID-19 and we need to draw up a consolidated, definitive plan of action,” the letter read by Santiago said.

With President Duterte on the brink of placing Metro Manila under the modified general communits quarantine (MGCQ) in middle of July, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año and the other Cabinet members convinced the President that the move is not feasible citing the need to open businesses to reinvigorate the economy.

Año insisted that the way to curb the spread of the disease starts in every individual who should follow the minimum health standards of wearing masks, observing physical distancing, and practicing proper hygiene.

He emphasized that no country can claim they have won their fight against COVID-19 since there is no available vaccine for the virus yet.

But on the bright note, Duterte in a meeting on Friday said that the COVID-19 vaccine will be available in the country this December.

Año noted that the country has to live with the virus momentarily until the vaccine is found.

He added that the local government units (LGUs) have the power to impose localized lockdowns on parts of the barangays, streets, and buildings which they have identified as high-risk areas.

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