COVID hotspots under hard lockdown 'not doable', says Roque

Published September 2, 2021, 4:17 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Malacañang is not keen on the idea of imposing a three-week hard lockdown on coronavirus (COVID-19) hotspots, reiterating that the government was balancing protecting the health of the public and allowing people to go to work.

Members of the Philippine National Police man a checkpoint in a barangay in Sampaloc, Manila after it was placed under lockdown on March 17, 2021. (Ali Vicoy/MANILA BULLETIN)

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque was responding to suggestions to place COVID-19 hotspots under a three-week hard lockdown to prevent the further spread of the virus.

Currently, Metro Manila and 15 other areas are under the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) until September 7.

In his press briefing on Thursday, September 2, Roque thumbed down the suggestion as more people may experience hunger if this would happen.

“Sa ngayon po parang hindi po doable ‘yan (For now, we don’t think that’s doable),” he said.

“Nakikita naman po natin– ayaw natin na lalo pang dumami ang hanay ng nagugutom (We see what’s happening– we don’t want the number of people experiencing hunger to increase),” he added.

According to Roque, the government has been promoting total health which included saving the lives of the people and making sure they can go to work.

He said it was possible to achieve the objective of making sure that those who will have to be hospitalized will be accommodated due to the number of people getting vaccinated.

He added that COVID-19 may soon be just like the common colds.

“Sa Metro Manila ay malaki-laki na po, halos kalahati na po ang nababakunahan (Almost half of Metro Manila’s population has been vaccinated),” Roque said.

“Maski dumami pa ang numero, ay parang sipon na lang po (Even if the number of cases increased, this will be like the common colds),” he added.

Malacañang said the government’s pandemic task force was now “moving towards” the direction of granular or localized lockdowns as these were more effective compared to the regular quarantine classifications that the public has grown accustomed to.