Mon. Oct 18th, 2021

Even with the reopening of more business establishments and economic activities, people still do not have the confidence to go out and spend without the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine rollout, a member of the OCTA Research Group said Thursday.

In a television interview, OCTA Research Group fellow Prof. Guido David said the best way to achieve balancing health and the economy is through the rollout of the Covid-19 immunization program as quickly as possible.

“We will have a lot more confidence once the vaccine rollout starts to happen and is working. Even if we open the economy, consumers will still be reluctant to go out and enjoy the travel because of the threat of the virus,” David said.

He said health professionals do not oppose the safe and gradual reopening of the economy, but they remind the public of serious threats with the coronavirus UK variant if the government will “relax everything too quickly.”

The National Economic and Development Authority recently proposed to President Rodrigo Duterte to place the entire country under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

But David said moving to MGCQ, particularly for Metro Manila, may lose the government’s capability to be more effective in its “hammer and dance strategy” against Covid-19.“For example, there’s a spike in cases we can recalibrate and adjust back, and we have that capability precisely because we’re still under GCQ,” he said. “If we move to MGCQ, we may lose that capability to be more effective in the hammer and dance approach because we are opening up everything too quickly. And if the surge happens, will we be able to handle it? And that is an important question to ask.” SOVEREIGNPH

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