ILOILO CITY – The Chief Implementer of the Philippine government’s policies on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Carlito Galvez does not support the call made by doctors to re-impose enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Bacolod City due to the increase of local cases of COVID-19.
“It’s not practical [anymore],” said Galvez.
Doctors from Bacolod City and Negros Occidental province earlier wrote to President Duterte, urging him to place Bacolod City under ECQ anew because of confirmed community transmissions.
“We have to look at the granular data [of Bacolod]. Maybe it’s just one barangay (village) or three barangays,” said Galvez after meeting the Western Visayas regional COVID-19 task force in Iloilo City Wednesday, July 29.
Citing the World Health Organization (WHO), Galvez noted the recommendation that local governments should only implement “surgical ECQ” in areas where there are several COVID-19 cases and not the entire city or town.
In the case of Bacolod, Mayor Evelio Leonardia earlier ordered the strict lockdown of 10 barangays.
Galvez reiterated the socio-economic impact of locking down an entire town or city.
“We do not need more collateral. Our economy is already down,” Galvez said.
Another factor the IATF was looking at in considering ECQ status of localities was the absorptive capacity of health facilities.
According to Galvez, the situation in Bacolod was far from the situation in Metro Manila or Cebu, where there were thousands more COVID-19 cases and more fatalities.