‘Move quickly’ vs Delta threat, impose 2-week lockdown — Concepcion

Published July 28, 2021, 4:37 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

A proposed two-week lockdown may be needed to ensure public health before the cases of Delta coronavirus variant escalate further.

Manila residents line up to get a second dose of coronavirus vaccine at a vaccination site located inside a shopping mall on July 13, 2021. (Malacañang)

The proposed coronavirus lockdown is emerging consensus of the private sector in a bid to help save lives and livelihoods from the virus threat, according to Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion.

Concepcion earlier conducted consultations with private sector representatives and voiced support for a two-week lockdown similar to the restrictions imposed in Metro Manila and nearby provinces last March.

“We prefer that we solve the problem early and not wait for the problem to get bigger, because then we will have a lockdown for months. That is the most catastrophic thing in our country if that happens in the 4th quarter,” Concepcion said in a statement Wednesday, July 28.

“If we have to do it, let us do it. Let us prepare for it. We have to be decisive. We have to move quickly,” he added.

He noted that no Southeast Asian nation has reversed the coronavirus surge “without locking down major cities.” “The longer we wait, the harder we can reverse the surge.”

The country has so far recorded more than 1.5 million coronavirus cases since the pandemic started last year. From this figure, around 119 cases of the more contagious Delta coronavirus cases have been registered.

Concepcion previously warned that placing Metro Manila under the enhanced community quarantine, the most restrictive of the four lockdown levels, might “destroy” the economy and cause suffering among Filipinos.

In his latest statement, the President’s adviser acknowledged that need to protect people’s lives by accelerating the vaccination drive.

“We have to protect the lives of the most vulnerable ones most especially our unvaccinated kababayans and continue the aggressive vaccination rollouts while addressing the problem of Delta,” Concepcion said.

Concepcion noted that the fourth quarter is considered the “most important” quarter for the business sector. “This is where consumers spend Christmas. Election spending will also come. Most businesses who lost their income from the previous months will be able to recover,” he added.

In his State of the Nation Address Monday, July 26, President Duterte has warned of possible strict lockdown to contain the spread of the Delta cases in the country. He admitted though that the economy may suffer irreversible damage if another lockdown will be declared.