Want Metro Manila, other provinces under MGCQ? Self-discipline is key, says DTI chief


Posted at Sep 22 2020 11:14 AM

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MANILA - If Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez had his way, he would want the government to place Metro Manila and surrounding areas under modified general community quarantine as long as the public practices self-discipline in following COVID-19 protocols.

Speaking to ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo, Lopez said Filipinos should know by now the importance of physical distancing, face masks, face shields and disinfection in lowering COVID-19 infection rates.

"By this time siguro more than 6 months na tayo na nag-a-apply ang community lockdown, malaki na rin ang naiturong disiplina sa mga kababayan. Marami nang sumusunod sa pagsuot ng face masks, face shield, pag-iwas at pag disinfect," he said.

(By this time, more than 6 months into the community lockdown, it taught the public discipline. Many now wear face masks, face shields, practicing distancing and disinfection)

Lopez earlier said he believed Metro Manila and nearby provinces should be placed under modified general community quarantine so that more sectors of the economy could be reopened.

"Kung [Department of Trade and Industry] lamang ang mag re rekomenda, ito ang aming rekomendasyon - subukan na natin itong MGCQ basta ang ating sambayanan handang i-commit ang bawat tao sa atin...na susunod sa ating minimum health standards. Makikicooperate sila na tuluyang maibaba ang infection. Kapag nagcooperate ang sambayanan, mabubuksan natin ang ekonomiya much further," he said.

(If the DTI is tasked to recommend, it will recommend trying MGCQ as long as the public will commit to follow minimum health standards. Cooperate in lowering infection rates. If these are done, the economy can reopen further)

"Kapag ginawa ang MGCQ, may responsibilidad ang sambayanan na sumunod sa mga patakaran...para maiwasan ang pagkakahawa."

(If we implement MGCQ, the public has the responsibility to follow protocols to prevent the spread of the virus)

The Philippines employs a 4-level community quarantine scheme ranging from the strictest enhanced community quarantine to the most relaxed modified GCQ.

The quarantine level dictates the type of business activities allowed in a certain area, as well as travel restrictions.

The government earlier reverted Metro Manila and surrounding provinces to modified enhanced community quarantine following an urgent appeal by health professionals for a "timeout" due to an increase in COVID-19 cases. Metro Manila and four other areas will remain under general community quarantine until Sept. 30.

Lopez said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases would need to look at several factors before easing quarantine restrictions in Metro Manila. These include: case doubling time, critical, socioeconomic impact, r-naught rate, critical utilization rate, and contact tracing efforts.

ABS-CBN TeleRadyo, September 22, 2020