MANILA - The Management Association of the Philippines on Monday said the government should "promptly" check the spread of the new Delta COVID-19 variant to avoid another lockdown which could damage the economy.
This was after the Department of Health announced on July 16 that it detected 16 cases of the more contagious mutation of the virus which can get past the immune system and spread faster in cells.
The government should accelerate vaccine deployment, heighten border control measures and further enhance surge capacity including the preparation of quarantine and hospital facilities, ventilators and oxygen, the statement said.
"We view with concern the reported local transmission of the Delta variant in the Philippines. We trust that the health authorities will promptly take calibrated measures to avoid its spread while hoping that the response will not shut the economy down," MAP said in a statement.
The OCTA Research Group on Sunday recommended the enforcement of the NCR Plus Bubble, which would help keep out the new Delta variant.
The DOH has warned of a possible surge due to the Delta variant while health facilities are encouraged to beef up capacities.
Last year, the country's gross domestic product plunged 9.6 percent due to the impact of the pandemic and resulting lockdowns.
A second surge in March led to a new lockdown, raising doubts about the country's ability to hit its 6 to 7 percent growth target for the year.
Metro Manila and its neighboring provinces were returned to the more lenient general community quarantine on July 16 following a decline in the number of daily confirmed infections in these areas.