27.5 C
Philippines
Monday, November 28, 2022

‘Localized lockdowns’ will address health concerns under GCQ, MGCQ – Galvez

MALACANAN PALACE – As quarantine restrictions are gradually eased up in most parts of the country including Metro Manila which began its first day of General Community Quarantine (GCQ), the government isn’t letting its guard down. 

To sustain the gains made during the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), localized lockdowns shall be implemented in barangays or areas which experience spikes in COVID-19 cases, according to National Action Plan (NAP) against COVID-19 Chief Implementer Carlito G. Galvez, Jr.

“Mayroon tayong tinatawag na rapid response, kung saan ila-lockdown natin ang isang  building, pwedeng ila-lockdown din natin yung isang block, isa o dalawang barangay. At ginagamit din natin ‘yong mga provisions ng ECQ duon sa mga critial na lugar na iyon,” Galvez said during a press briefing presided by Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque and Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año further clarified the definition of a localized lockdown, which will be enforced in areas under GCQ and MGCQ (Modified General Community Quarantine).

“Ito pong localized lockdown po ay may iba’t-ibang antas. Mayroong isang barangay, isang subdivision lang, o isang building lang para mabilis na ma-contain yung infection. Dapat po pag may dalawa pataas (na positive COVID cases), dapat po ay ila-lockdown na natin ‘yan para mas maliit, mas mabilis, mas madali nating mapipigilan,” Año said.

Under the GCQ, some modes of public transportation have been allowed to operate to enable employees to report to their places of work. 

Several businesses were also allowed to open in line with the government’s two-pronged approach of restarting the economy, while ensuring public safety. 

“Iyong pag-open ng GCQ, will also put some breathing space na magkaroon talaga ng economic activity considering that the millions of our workers are being affected by the lockdown. Then we will localize ‘yung lockdown sa mga barangays, ‘yung sinasabi nating segmented and surgical, and we could prevent ‘yung tinatawag natin na magkaroon ng widespread transmission,” Galvez said.

“We are protecting our people na ‘di magkaroon ng second wave. That’s why ‘yung testing capacity din ng Metro Manila ay tumaas. Mayroon na po tayong 25 testing centers sa Metro Manila,” he added.

Galvez said the government expects to further increase its testing capacity by the end of the month, with a specific focus on the National Capital Region (NCR).

“Sa ngayon po, before the end of June, ay magkakaroon na po tayo ng mataas na capacity. Sa ngayon po ang NCR ay nagkakaruon ng regular testing, (per) LGUs (Local Government Units), binigyan na po namin sila ng quota. And then ginagamit na po natin ang ating mga mega swabbing areas dito sa Metro Manila,” Galvez said.

Except for some minor logistical concerns which are now being addressed, the government is well underway in achieving its target of conducting at least 30,000 tests a day, Galvez noted.

Everyone must follow safety protocols

As the nation adapts to the ‘New Normal’ after having been placed under GCQ and MGCQ, Vergeire reminded everyone to strictly observe minimum health standards.

“Unang-una po, kapag lumabas, wear your mask. Hindi lang po isususot ang mask kung hindi isusuot po ito properly, (dapat) kino-cover po parehong ilong at saka bibig,” she said.

Vergeire also emphasized the importance of practicing social distancing in order to prevent the spread of the disease.

“Alam po natin na ang transmission po ng sakit na ito ay maaaring makuha through droplet infection at close contact. So, kung hindi po tayo susunod doon sa distance na kinakailangan ay malaki ang probabilidad na maaari tayong mahawa,” she said.

“Washing your hands is very important, and of course disinfecting common surfaces. At iyong huli po iyong symptoms screening, ito po iyong ginagawa natin sa lahat ng settings natin, pati sa work places,” Vergeire said. 

On top of the situation

Prior to the start of GCQ in Metro Manila, Galvez and other government officials inspected several malls and business establishments in order to gauge their managements’ capability to handle the influx of people.

“Yung ating business sector, they are heightening up their strict protocols. Natutuwa nga kami kasi yung mga LGU sa Metro Manila, tsaka mga business sector, mas mataas pa ang kanilang awareness na even stricter pa sa IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) ang pinapatupad nila. Ang nakita ko talaga ang concern ng mga LGUs at business sector, we are working together na at least yung transmission talaga ay ma-prevent,” Galvez said.

The Chief Implementer also said he has coordinated with the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to address transportation-related issues in certain areas such as in Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City.

“Ang ginawa natin, ‘yong ating reserved buses sa PITX (Paranaque Integrated Terminal Exchange) galing DOTr ni-reinforce na rin po ‘yon. Nagpulong na rin po kami ni (MMDA) GM (General Manager) Jojo Garcia at kung ano ang mga magandang gagawin. So ngayon po naka-connect na po ang OPCEN (Operation Center) natin ng MMDA at NCRPO (National Capital Region Police Office) at NIC (National Incicent Command). So sa ngayon po, mino-monitor po natin at nag-normalize naman po (ang sitwasyon),” Galvez said.

According to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, the Armed Forces of the Philippines has deployed 48 trucks and buses to the MMDA, which the latter can use to augment the transport needs of commuters in the NCR.

“Sa 48 na trucks at buses, anim ang nai-dispatch sa Commonwealth, libreng sakay para maihatid sila (mga tao),” Lorenzana said.

Aside from Metro Manila, Galvez is also scheduled to visit Iloilo this week to assess the health situation in the province and oversee the establishment of testing laboratories, after having been to Bohol, Cebu, Baguio, Davao, Zamboanga, Butuan City and General Santos City.

“Itinataas natin ‘yung level of capacity (sa Visayas). Naglagay na tayo ng dalawang automated machine duon sa Central Visayas. At duon po sa bandang Iloilo at bandang Negros ay nagtatayo na rin po tayo ng laboratory,” Galvez said.