Business group backs easing quarantine restrictions, cites 'improving COVID-19 indicators'

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 13 2021 04:10 PM

Business group backs easing quarantine restrictions, cites 'improving COVID-19 indicators' 1
Health workers monitor people who got inoculated with the Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine of Pfizer BioNTech during its rollout at the Makati Medical Center on May 12, 2021. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - The Management Association of the Philippines on Thursday said the improving COVID-19 trend in the country could lead to further easing of restrictions.

"We agree that with improving trends in COVID indicators we can further relax quarantine restrictions. We cannot let our guard down, however," said MAP National Issues Committee Chair Rizalina Mantaring in a statement. 

But strict health protocols should still be observed, she said.

Metro Manila and its neighboring provinces are still under modified enhanced community quarantine until May 14. New quarantine classifications are expected to be announced late Wednesday.

Based on the latest data from the Department of Health, there has been a decline in confirmed COVID-19 cases after the peak in April. 

During the first quarter gross domestic product announcement, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua said recent COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila was lower compared to the previous week. 

On May 12, the Department of Health reported 4,842 additional COVID-19, which brought the country's total to 1,118,359. 

The gross domestic product in the first quarter contracted by 4.2 percent, an improvement from the -8.3 percent GDP in the fourth quarter of 2020. It fell by 9.6 percent in 2020 after months of a strict lockdown in Luzon shuttered businesses. 

Chua said that the slower contraction is a sign that the ecoomy "is on the mend." 

Mantaring said the government should continue boosting the country's health care capacity such as testing, isolation, hospital and ICU beds to prepare for "future surges" and to prevent further lockdowns.

The MAP also urged citizens to follow health protocols and to get vaccinated once they have the chance.

Economic managers have earlier agreed that the full implementation of recovery packages as well as the country's vaccination program could lead to the start of positive economic growth in the second quarter of the year.

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