“It’s a race to the unvaccinated.”
This was how Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion described the importance of the upcoming shift of Metro Manila to the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), saying the two-week period will allow the government to get to the unvaccinated first before the Delta variant of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) got to them.
Concepcion made the statement days ahead of Metro Manila’s shift to ECQ from August 6 to 20, 2021 due to the alarming increase of individuals affected by the more contagious strain of the virus.
In a town hall discussion with representatives from the public and private sectors and health experts, Concepcion thought the private sector was right in suggesting the lockdown because it will allow the government to boost its vaccination efforts.
“I think, by and large, I believe we made the right decision. We’re here to save the lives of the unvaccinated. The unvaccinated are at the highest risk,” he said Wednesday, August 4.
In a town hall on the upcoming ECQ in NCR, Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and @letsgonegosyo founder Joey Concepcion says the lockdown was necessary to save 4th quarter when many entrepreneurs can recover the money they lost during previous quarters. @manilabulletin pic.twitter.com/ldCrHGuEC9— Argyll Cyrus Geducos (@argyllcyrus_MB) August 4, 2021
He hoped that the ECQ will be enough to vaccinate many people in the National Capital Region (NCR).
“Lockdown will slow down Delta, definitely. Hopefully, the two weeks will work. Let’s see if the numbers improve,” he said.
“But that lockdown is not to eliminate Delta. It will allow us to reach the unvaccinated first before Delta gets to them. It’s a race to the unvaccinated,” he added.
Concepcion echoed the government’s sentiment that vaccination was the solution to the crisis that has crippled the economy for more than a year.
“These vaccines are the solution, basically, in creating that wall of defense. So what we have to do while we slow down Delta is we create this wall of defense. That means vaccinating the unvaccinated people,” he said.
“If we don’t want to see another lockdown, that is the only way, I believe. Vaccinate as much as we can,” he added.
The Go Negosyo founder said making the most of the two-week ECQ, in terms of vaccination, can prevent future lockdowns.
“Anywhere between 80, 90 percent will achieve a very strong fortification of our defense which will allow us to open our business,” Concepcion said.
“If we vaccinate at the high levels of 80 percent and above, continue to wear face masks, then I think we have a better chance of avoiding future lockdowns,” he added.
Concepcion likewise thought that the upcoming ECQ will be a test case where the private sector, the local government, and the national government, come together to come towards achieving a fully vaccinated population.
“I think that is what everybody in the private sector would like to see– that we continue to run our businesses well, that we have a fully vaccinated population, and we can move on with life,” he added.
Last month, Concepcion urged the government to make “bold moves” like limiting the movement of the unvaccinated population to prevent the further spread of the Delta variant. (Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos)