Bayan leader: ‘We cannot merely rely on lockdowns to stop COVID-19 spread’

Published March 27, 2021, 5:44 PM

by Jhon Aldrin Casinas

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) Secretary General Renato Reyes Jr. said the imposition of lockdowns should not be relied on to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country.


Reyes made the statement Saturday, March 27, amid reports that the national government plans to place Metro Manila and its surrounding provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan, Rizal under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) next week.

“We cannot merely rely on lockdowns to stop the spread of COVID. The lockdowns are only supposed to buy government time to prepare the health care system,” Reyes said in a Twitter post.

“Hindi pwedeng walang dagdag na testing, maayos na contact tracing at pinalawak na kapasidad ng ospital (It is not acceptable without additional testing, proper contact tracing and expanded hospital capacity,” he added.

The Bayan leader noted that there has been “consistent talk” of a Holy Week ECQ, after the country logged more than 9,000 new cases of COVID-19 for two straight days.

“The ECQ is the harshest lockdown,” Reyes said. “Still, we need to ask, what of other health interventions? What about increased testing and expanding the capacity of hospitals?”

On Saturday, the Department of Health (DOH) reported 9,595 new cases of COVID-19, which brought the nationwide tally of total confirmed infections to 712,442 cases since the start of the pandemic last year.