The Duterte administration has already changed its strategies in addressing the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said on Thursday.
This, after Senate President Vicente Sotto III called on the government to look for other ways to fight Covid-19 other than relying on vaccines.
“The strategy has already been changed. I think you recommendation is too late,” Panelo told Sotto during his commentary show Counterpoint.
Sotto said the government should concentrate on treatment and prevention through medicines rather than focus more on vaccinating Filipinos against Covid-19.
Panelo, in response, said there is nothing wrong with the government’s goal to ramp up its vaccination efforts to protect Filipinos against the dreaded disease.
“When it comes to vaccines, our strategy will not change. The more vaccines we have, the better for us. The strategy to vaccinate the public is right,” he said in Filipino.
As of Monday, a total of 36.191 million Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered nationwide.
Around 15.283 million individuals have been fully vaccinated, while 20.907 million have received the first dose of the vaccine.
National Task Force against Covid-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. earlier said the country is preparing to procure more vaccine doses as booster shots.
Panelo said the government is focused on updating its policy in terms of granular lockdowns instead of city-wide and province-wide community quarantine.
“It’s no longer a total lockdown. It will be granular lockdown,” he said partly in Filipino. “Meaning, we will change our strategy to bring our economy back to normal.”
Metro Manila was supposed to be under regular general community quarantine (GCQ) from Sept. 8 to 30 to pave the way for the pilot of granular or localized lockdowns.
The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, however, decided to defer the GCQ in Metro Manila, pending the release of final guidelines on granular lockdowns.
Metro Manila stays under the stricter modified enhanced community quarantine until Sept. 15.