President Rodrigo Duterte has floated the possible policy shift to imposing “localized lockdowns” nationwide instead of implementing city-wide and province-wide community quarantine to address the surge in Covid-19 cases.
This, after Duterte bared his plan to recalibrate his administration’s Covid-19 response efforts, amid the presence of variants of concern, including the more transmissible Delta variant.
“Whether the rise in the number of cases is due to the Delta variant or not, we need to recalibrate our response,” Duterte said in his prerecorded Talk to the People delivered Monday night but aired Tuesday morning. “We are also evaluating whether granular or localized lockdown would work best in our current situation.”
Duterte also directed the National Task Force Against Covid-19 to study the potential benefits of implementing localized lockdowns all throughout the country.
He gave the fresh directive as he lamented that the Philippines logged Monday the highest Covid-19 daily case count.
On Monday, the country recorded 22,366 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the total number of coronavirus infections to 1.976 million.
Around 1.794 million individuals have already recovered, while 33,330 people have died because of Covid-19.
There are still 148,594 active Covid-19 cases in the country.
Despite the surge in Covid-19 infections, Duterte remained thankful over the low Covid-19 fatality rate in the country.
“There’s a rise of Covid cases all over [the world]. America, Europe, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia are struggling because of Covid-19-related deaths. In our case, many are catching the virus but there are only a few deaths,” Duterte said partly in Filipino.
For now, Metro Manila and other areas in the country will remain under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ), the second strictest community quarantine status, until Sept. 7 to address the increasing bed occupancy and enable the local government units to ramp up their vaccination rollout, Duterte said.
Duterte also reminded Filipinos to continue heeding the government’s advice to wear face mask, observe regular handwashing, and follow strict social distancing to protect themselves against Covid-19.
“Let us continue to be safe from Covid and its variants by continuing to observe our minimum public health standards — mask, hugas, iwas (wear a mask, wash hands, and observe a distance). And please [get] vaccinated as soon as your turn comes and avoid being complacent about protocols,” he said.
Duterte likewise renewed his call on his fellow Filipinos to grab the opportunity to get vaccinated against Covid-19.