NCR mayors urge IATF to ease restrictions for fully-vaccinated folks

Published September 9, 2021, 4:37 PM

by Betheena Unite

Metro Manila mayors urged the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID)) to consider easing restrictions for fully-vaccinated individuals in the National Capital Region (NCR) to open up more economic activities in the region.

File photo/MANILA BULLETIN (Mark Balmores)

The Metro Manila Council (MMC) believes that easing the restrictions for fully-vaccinated individuals would also eventually help the government’s campaign to vaccinate the rest of the population.

The move will then “gradually boost up the economy, particularly industries and services greatly hit by the pandemic.”

“With the NCR being considered right now to be the epicenter of this pandemic and the region with the most number of vaccinated individuals, we are confident that we can find the right balance between safeguarding the public’s health and reviving economy,” said Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Benhur Abalos.

As of Sept. 8, around 56 percent of the eligible population or 5,492,344 individuals in Metro Manila have been fully vaccinated while 84.21 percent or 8,262,558 individuals of the eligible population already received their first vaccine shot.

Abalos, who is also the concurrent chair of the MMC, said that since most of the COVID-19 shots have a three to four-week interval from the first shot, those who got their first jabs will eventually complete their vaccination.

“By next month (Oct. 8), we are expecting that we will reach 77.57 percent or 7,601,685 of the total eligible population in the metro to be fully-vaccinated. The more people who complete their inoculation, the sooner we can achieve population protection,” he explained.

“And since the AstraZeneca vaccine has an interval of 12 weeks at most between the first dose and the 2nd dose, we expect 87 percent of the eligible population in NCR to be vaccinated in 3 months time or not later than December 8,” he added.

The Metro Manila local chief executives had unanimously approved the resolution seeking to ease the restrictions for fully-vaccinated people in their recent meeting.

Metro Manila remains under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) until Sept. 15. This came after the switch to a general community quarantine (GCQ) along with the pilot-testing of granular lockdowns in Metro Manila were deferred.