MANILA — Government agencies have reached a "consensus" to impose granular lockdowns instead of province or city-wide quarantine restrictions to curb an uptick in COVID-19 cases, the interior department said on Wednesday.
The shift to 2-week granular lockdowns is now up "for final approval" of the inter-agency task force on COVID-19, said Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya.
"There is consensus among the different government agencies na instead ng malawakang ECQ (enhanced community quarantine), ang gagamitin po natin ay granular lockdown na lamang," he said in a televised public briefing.
"Sinisiguro po ng national government na mayroong augmentation na ibibigay," the official added.
(There is consensus among different government agencies that instead of a broad ECQ, we will just use granular lockdowns. The national government guarantees that augmentation will be given.)
Officials earlier said a granular lockdown could be limited to a building, street or barangay. The interior department wants even authorized individuals to be barred from leaving their homes during granular lockdowns.
Local governments will be in charge of providing aid to residents during the first week of a granular lockdown, while the social department will distribute food packs during the second week, Malaya said.
The Philippines, which has among the worst coronavirus outbreaks in Asia, is battling a renewed surge in COVID-19 cases driven by community transmission of the more infectious Delta variant.
The health department logged a record-high 22,366 new cases on Monday and 13,827 new infections the next day. Total confirmed cases have risen to more than 1.98 million.
The second-highest level of quarantine curbs were imposed in Metro Manila and 15 other areas until Sept. 7.
The government is pinning its hopes for an economic recovery on its inoculation program that started in March and aimed to cover up to 70 million people before the year ends. At least 13.9 million people have been fully vaccinated so far.
— With a report from Reuters
Video courtesy of PTV