MANILA - The Philippine government should ramp up various efforts in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic instead of relying on lockdowns that can debilitate further the ailing economy, a business group said Sunday.
Authorities must "step-up" efforts in data management, contact tracing, vaccine procurement and logistics, and quarantine and hospital facilities, Financial Executive Institute of the Philippines' president Francis Lim said in a statement.
"We hope that the relaxation is a portent of things to come. But to make it effective, the government must step up in the area of data management, contact tracing, vaccine procurement and logistics, quarantine and hospital facilities. Our government must realize that time is of the essence," Lim said.
“We reiterate that lockdown should not be the primary tool to address the pandemic. Continued lockdown will aggravate the damage to the economy and cause continued pain and suffering to our people," he added.
The NCR Plus bubble, composed of Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan and Rizal was placed under modified ECQ until the end of the month.
Under MECQ, more industries could open which means more Filipinos can work and earn wages, FINEX said.
Meanwhile, several hospitals have said their bed capacity for COVID-19 patients were almost full.
An uptick in confirmed daily COVID-19 cases has been evident in the past weeks, with the health department reporting a total of 11, 681 new infections on April 11. The country has a total of 864,868 infections as of April 11.