The implementation of the two-week Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila is aimed at preventing the Philippines from turning into India and India which were both swept by the upsurge of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) mainly due to the Delta variant.
Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr., National Task Force (NTF) against COVID 19 Chief Implementer and vaccine czar, said the ECQ is expected to disrupt the transmission of the Delta variant, what with reports in the past days of the increasing number of infected Filipinos.
“If we will not declare ECQ in NCR, we will be the next India or Indonesia,” Galvez said during a Committee on Health hearing at the House of Representatives on Wednesday.
“Let’s not wait for our healthcare workers to be overwhelmed and later surrender. We have to protect them. Preventing them to be overwhelmed is our primary duty,” he emphasized, adding that this intervention is needed to ‘disrupt’ the transmission of the Delta variant in the country’s economic center and most highly-populated region,” he added.
Galvez said they consulted the business sector before they recommended the ECQ implementation in Metro Manila, which was later approved by President Duterte.
Health experts said the Delta variant is 60 percent more transmissible than the UK variant (Alpha) and three times more contagious than the original SARS-COV-2 virus. It can infect up to eight people at a time.
Galvez said the government will further ramp up vaccination even during the imposition of ECQ in NCR and some of the parts of the country.
As of August 3, the country has already reached its target to administer more than 700,000 doses a day.
Data from the National Vaccine Operations Center (NVOC) showed the country was able to administer 702,013, the highest so far in a single day since the vaccination program started last March. Of this figure, 233,065 doses were administered as the first dose, while 468,948 doses were administered as second dose.
This brings the total doses administered in the country to 21,912,142, of which 12,073,569 as first dose, while fully vaccinated individuals are 9,838,573.