Metro Manila’s modified lockdown should be longer, UP researchers urge

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 28 2020 11:04 AM

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A group of researchers from the University of the Philippines on Thursday urged the government to extend the modified lockdown of 12 million people in Metro Manila and other high-risk areas to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The region and the southern city of Davao has yet to log a 2-week decrease of COVID-19 cases, said Guido David of the UP Institute of Mathematics. 

“Hindi pa natin nakikita iyong (we have yet to see the) flattening of the [coronavirus] curve sa NCR at Davao City,” he told DZMM. 

President Rodrigo Duterte before the weekend will decide whether to place Metro Manila under general community quarantine or GCQ that lets almost all industries to operate up to 75 percent. 

The region, which accounts for a third of the gross domestic product, is under modified enhance community quarantine until May 31 which lets select industries operate by up to 50-percent capacity. 

"Kung kalusugan lang ang batayan… base sa mga nakikita naming datos ay dapat manatili muna tayo sa MECQ hanggang maklaro ang datos para mag-move sa GCQ – hindi lang sa NCR, kundi sa high-risk areas," said Prof. Ranjit Rye of the UP-Diliman Political Science Department. 

(If health is the sole consideration, based on the data we see, we should remain under modified quarantine until the data are clearer so we can shift to GCQ — not just in NCR, but in other high-risk areas.) 

David said his group lacked expertise on the economy, which the government would likely take into account in easing the lockdown. The UP researchers will "support" the government's decision, he said. 

The success of the lockdown will depend on the public's cooperation, he added. "Wag naman tayong maging masyadong pasaway. Magtulong-tulong tayo," said David. 

(Let's not be too hardheaded, let's help each other.) 

DZMM, May 28, 2020