The Trade Department says in response to pleas from the medical community for tighter COVID-19 restrictions in the area.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said he is supporting calls to address health workers’ concerns. On the other hand, it noted there are other ways to help mitigate the crisis situation.
“How can we help our frontliners? They need more support in all aspects,” Lopez said.
“But (it’s) difficult to go back to ECQ. (It’s) damaging to people’s health, unemployment and poverty affecting health and wellness and nutrition intake. (It) will affect long-term health and capacity to learn for children,” he added.
Lopez said local government authorities have the capacity to enforce granular lockdowns. And then, that stringent safety procedures were in place to prevent the virus from spreading.
The DTI chief also stressed the importance of balancing health and economy during this crisis, adding that people “need to handle the virus that is here to stay and live with it.”
Duterte Returns Mega Manila to ECQ
Many medical societies on Saturday appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte to return Mega Manila to ECQ until August 15, citing an exhausted healthcare system and “burning out” frontliners. Mega Manila is included Metro Manila, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, and Central Luzon.
The move will also pave the way to “refine” the pandemic control strategies for health care workers, the group added.
However, some officials and experts expressed concern about the proposal. That said, it could potentially have repercussions on the economy of the country.
Metro Manila remains under the more relaxed general community quarantine until mid-August, but LGUs have the authority to declare strictly localized lockdowns in areas that see a hefty increase in COVID-19 infections.