Our goal is to adapt to ‘new normal’ — Galvez

Published September 7, 2020, 7:47 PM

by Martin Sadongdong

With the flattening of the COVID-19 curve now being realized, the government is setting its eyes on its “ultimate” goal which is to help the Filipinos adapt to the “new normal.”

Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez Jr., chief implementer of the National Task Force (NTF) on COVID-19 (NTF AGAINST COVID-19 / MANILA BULLETIN)

In a virtual presser Monday, National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. said: “Ang end point po natin ay magkaroon po tayo ng realization sa new normal… magkaroon po ng MGCQ at saka new normal (Our end point is to have a realization on the new normal… to have MGCQ and then the new normal).”

Galvez made the statement in reaction to the statement of NTF chairperson Delfin Lorenzana about the good chances of Metro Manila being placed under the less restrictive modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) by month-end with the improving COVID-19 trend.

“Naniniwala rin po ako kay Secretary Lorenzana na talagang nakatuon po ang ating dedikasyon para makuha po natin ‘yung ultimate objective po natin na talagang mapunta sa MGCQ ang NCR (I also believe in Secretary Lorenzana that we need to focus all our dedication in achieving the ultimate objective to place the National Capital Region under MGCQ),” he added.

The government said the “new normal” means co-existing with the virus by following the minimum health standard.

However, the chief implementer said necessary adjustments must be made before the government takes the risk of easing the quarantine restrictions in Metro Manila.

These include the establishment of more isolation beds and intensive care unit (ICU) rooms in case a surge happens, Galvez said.

Testing has also been ramped up to find the undetected cases, isolate them from the communities, and prevent the local transmission of the virus, he added.

Galvez also stated that the Department of Health has been continuously recruiting more health care workers to beef up the force of the medical frontliners.

“Sa ngayon po, nag-a-ano kami na bigyan ng importansya na magkaroon ng relief ‘yong ating health care workers (Right now, we will prioritize the provision of relief to our health care workers),” he said.

He reiterated his reminder to the public to wear a face mask and face shield, observe social distancing and go out only when necessary, and maintain personal hygiene.

The local government units, on the other hand, were advised to implement localized lockdown in areas where there is a rise in infections.

Last Saturday, Lorenzana expressed optimism that Metro Manila may further ease up its restrictions since the positivity rate and the number of new cases have been on a downward trend.