The government is aiming to “maximize” the Metro Manila-wide strict lockdown and step up its pandemic response in a bid to slow down the coronavirus spread and avoid extending the movement curbs.
As the National Capital Region will enter another restrictive lockdown from August 6 to 20, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the government’s strategy, that includes massive vaccination, test-trace-isolate strategy, and health care resources and facilities, would be further beefed up during this period.
By accelerating these COVID-19 response measures, Nograles said the government hopes to “nip in the bud” the Delta threat, prevent the hospitals from getting overwhelmed with cases, and save more lives.
“Because the Delta variant is truly highly more transmissible, I echo what PA (Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship) Joey (Concepcion) said it is imperative that the private sector, national government and local government units really come together for a united effort to make the August 6 to 20 ECQ in NCR work so we do not need to extend,” Nograles said during a virtual Go Negosyo-organized town hall meeting on the pandemic response Wednesday, August 4.
“Your government is doing a careful balancing act so that we are all safe and at the same time help our economy recover. This ECQ is a necessary step to ensure we will be able to continue to do so,” he said.
Before the shift to ECQ, Metro Manila has been placed on stricter general community quarantine this week to prepare for the hard lockdown amid the country’s rising cases of infections.
On the vaccination drive, Nograles said additional 4 million doses will be supplied to Metro Manila to boost its inoculation drive. More coronavirus vaccines are expected to arrive in the country in the coming days to help accelerate the vaccination drive, he added.
“The acceleration of vaccination in NCR will provide the necessary protection especially for our A1, A2, A3, A4 and A5 priority groups in the region. Of course this is not to say we are leaving out the others,” he said.
“The priorities will be the so-called hotspots so as to deter the COVID-19 spread. This obviously is our best defense together with practicing the minimum public health standards,” he added.
Nograles said like many people, the government hopes the NCR lockdown will be the “last” and the nation could finally recover the pandemic that has cost lives and jobs. But he urged the public to cooperate with the government by getting vaccinated and observing the health protocols to ensure triumph against the virus.
The country has so far secured more than 37 million doses of coronavirus vaccines, 21 million of which have already been administered. More than 9 million people have already been fully vaccinated.
The country has reported 6,879 new cases of infections Tuesday, that pushed the total to 1.6 million. The country’s death toll has reached 28,141.