Granular lockdowns must be complemented with continuous pandemic response — UP expert

Published September 7, 2021, 9:46 AM

by Jaleen Ramos

The implementation of granular lockdowns will be successful only if coupled with continuous pandemic response such as testing, contact tracing, and vaccinations, an expert said Tuesday, Sept. 7.

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)

“Granular lockdown will be successful if still nandyan yung maayos, mabilis na detection… So kung meron tayong testing, contact tracing, and also mapalawak natin ang vaccination sa mga lugar na matataas ang kaso, baka makatulong itong sama-samang strategies para mapababa ang mga kaso ng coronavirus disease (COVID-19) (Granular lockdown will be successful if there is still proper, fast detection … If we have testing, contact tracing, and also we can expand vaccination in areas with high cases, it may help to put together strategies to reduce cases of COVID-19),” said Dr. Jomar Rabajante of the University of the Philippines (UP) Pandemic Response Team in an interview with DzMM Teleradyo.

The National Capital Region (NCR) will shift back to general community quarantine (GCQ) and will also serve as the pilot area for the implementation of granular lockdowns starting Sept. 8 to Sept. 30.

Rabajante, meanwhile, pointed out that lockdowns is just to slow down the transmission of the virus.

“May mga local government units na maayos at ready sa paggawa nito pero ‘yung pupuntahan po natin na barangay level ‘yun ang hindi ko masasagot ngayon dahil iba iba ang capacity ng ating mga LGUs (There are local government units that are well -organized and ready to do this but I can’t answer the barangay level that we are going to do now because the capacity of our LGUs is different),” he said.

“Kung magga-granular lockdown tayo binibigay natin ‘yung power, ‘yung pag-iimplement talaga… tapos wala silang tao, pang contact tracing tapos mabagal din ang kanilang coordination (If we do a granular lockdown, we give the power, the implementatio… but then they do not have people, contact tracing, and their coordination is also slow),” he added.

Rabajante also noted that the surge of the COVID-19 cases in the country is mainly due to the highly transmissible Delta variant as well as the public’s mobility.

The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday, Sept. 6, reported 22,415 additional COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of active cases to 155,894.