MANILA—National Capital Region mayors called on the national government to place Metro Manila under a 2-week hard lockdown to arrest the spread of the virulent COVID-19 Delta variant, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority said Friday.
Home to some 13.5 million people, Metro Manila was placed under general community quarantine "with heightened restrictions" from Aug. 1 to 15.
Lawyer Victor Trinidad, director of MMDA's public safety office, said Metro Manila mayors submitted a resolution seeking the strictest quarantine measure to the government's pandemic task force amid local transmission of the Delta variant.
"Ang laman ng resolution, sinasabi nila na papayag 'yung mayor ng NCR na magkaroon ng ECQ ng 2 linggo," Trinidad told Teleradyo's "Sakto".
(In the resolution, the mayors agree to place NCR under ECQ for 2 weeks.)
Trinidad said the mayors were willing to impose the ECQ provided, that the national government had available funds for the Social Amelioration Program (SAP).
The mayors also asked the government to provide them with 4 million COVID-19 vaccines, which they promised to administer during the 2-week lockdown, he added.
Should the President grant the mayors' demand, Trinidad said Metro Manila would be under ECQ like in March when the country experienced a surge of COVID-19 infections.
"Babalik ang border controls natin sa NCR Plus kung magkakaroon ng ECQ. Tapos authorized persons outside residence ang puwedeng makalabas. Ang ating mga negosyo merong listahan kung ano lang ang puwedeng magbukas," he said.
(Borders controls in NCR Plus will back. Only authorize persons outside residence are allowed to go out. We also have a list of businesses that are allowed to operate during this time.)
With more than 1.5 million cases and over 27,500 deaths, the Philippines has the second-highest number of infections and deaths in Southeast Asia, and the detection of the Delta variant could slow the country's return to normalcy.
The Philippines has so far fully vaccinated about 7.2 million out of its 58 million target population.