Metro Manila mayors are closely monitoring the development related to the new strain of the coronavirus discovered in the United Kingdom, according to Metro Manila Council (MMC) chair and Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez.
In an interview over DZBB, Olivarez urged the public to abide strictly by virus protocols as the country cannot afford a fresh lockdown.
“Priority natin yung ating health and safety. The country, our city can’t afford yung surge kaya nga po lahat ng ating health protocols sinusunod natin yan, lalo na itong bagong variant, bagong strain na binabantayan po lahat ng LGUs (local government units) sa Metro Manila (Our priority is everyone’s health and safety. The country, our city can’t afford another surge so we follow all our health protocols. Metro Manila LGUs are closely monitoring this new variant, new strain),” Olivarez said.
“Naging abala ang MMC tungkol sa bagong strain. Ito po ang pinag-uusapan namin, kaya nga nag-issue na kami ng executive order sa lahat po ng aming barangay captain dito sa aming city pati sa ibang LGUs na babantayan po yung balikbayan na galing po sa Europe, South Africa, pati po sa United Kingdom (We have been busy studying the new strain. This is what we’ve been discussing. We already issued an executive order to all our barangay captains here in our city as well as other LGUs to monitor all repatriates arriving here from Europe, South Africa, as well as United Kingdom),” he added.
Metro mayors, however have yet to come up with a recommendation on whether to maintain the general community quarantine (GCQ) across the Metro or revert to a stricter quarantine status.
“Yung pong pagbaba pa ng GCQ, ako po, hindi po ako favor dun sa maging MGCQ po tayo kasi itong strain na to unfamiliar pa tayo kaya kailangan bantayan natin ito. We can’t afford a second spike dito po sa Metro Manila (I’m not in favor to relax from GCQ to MGCQ because we’re still unfamiliar with this strain so we need to closely watch it. We can’t afford a second spike here in Metro Manila),” he noted.
President Duterte earlier warned of a new lockdown if the new COVID-19 variant from the United Kingdom spreads in the Philippines.
The new strain of coronavirus, first found in the United Kingdom in September, has caused alarm as it is reported to be more contagious than other SARS-CoV-2 variants. The strain has been detected in various places including Singapore, Japan, South Korea, and Jordan.
President Duterte is expected to announce today (December 28) quarantine classifications in January.