The Metro Manila Council (MMC) on Wednesday said it is leaving to the national government the decision to extend or downgrade the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) being implemented in the region.
In a virtual presser on Wednesday, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and concurrent MMC chairperson Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr. said the council –composed of the 17 NCR mayors and other national government officials — said the new or extended quarantine status will take effect on August 21.
“The LGUs (local government units) are at the forefront and they know what is really happening on the ground but we have to weigh both economic and health factors in our decision. We deem it best to leave the decision to the wisdom and judgment of the IATF-EID (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases),” Abalos said.
He said the local government units (LGU) in NCR will continue to strictly implement the “Prevent-Detect-Isolate-Treat-Reintegrate (PDITR)” measures to control the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) and the multiple variants of its virus.
“Whatever the decision of the IATF-EID, the mayors committed to doubling up their vaccination efforts. Stricter implementation of health protocols and comprehensive testing and contact tracing will also be continuously imposed,” Abalos said.
He noted that the current ECQ in NCR and other parts of the country is “different from past ECQs” as the government has already begun its vaccination program.
As of Monday, he said the total Covid-19 vaccine doses administered in the NCR has reached 10,716,042, with senior citizens administered with their first doses making up 90 percent of the total and the rest at 774,066 with complete doses.
“Critical Covid-19 cases are lesser despite the rise in the number of active cases as majority of Metro Manila residents already received their jabs,” Abalos said.
Earlier, Abalos inspected several vaccination sites in Metro Manila and commended the LGUs for their “orderly and systematic” vaccination process.
The two-week ECQ in Metro Manila from Aug. 6 to 20 was implemented due to the continued rise of Covid-19 cases mainly due to the highly contagious Delta variant.