MANILA – The government is counting on more stringent protocols and the public abiding by the rules for the situation to get better in areas hounded by rising coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases.
Vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said shuttling back and forth from one quarantine classification to another is hard on everyone.
“This MECQ (modified enhanced community quarantine) will be different. It is more stringent. Hopefully, with strict implementation, our situation will get better. Mahirap ang pabalik-balik tayo sa (It’s hard to always revert to) ECQ. It is not sustainable,” Galvez said in an interview at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 in Pasay City on Friday during the arrival of 582,500 doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.
The National Capital Region, Laguna, and Bataan will be downgraded to MECQ until Aug. 31.
Bulacan and Ilocos Norte are likewise under MECQ until month’s end.
All dine-in services (including outdoor settings) and personal care services like beauty salons, barbershops, and nail spas still are not allowed to operate.
Metro Manila Development Authority Chair Benhur Abalos, who was also at NAIA, added that dine-in is still prohibited as experts said the hypertransmissible Delta variant can be contracted even without physical contact with the carrier.
“For now, our isolation centers, hospitals, are occupied, and we are still counting deaths. We need the 10 days of MECQ with stricter implementations to avoid the further spread of the virus,” he said.
The shipment of AstraZeneca vaccines is the third tranche procured by the private sector, as represented by the Go Negosyo Foundation, and local government units (LGUs) through the Dose of Hope program.
The program is an initiative of the private sector, led by Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion, to donate Covid-19 vaccines.
“Nagpapasalamat tayo sa ating mga (We thank the) private sector at sa (and) Go Negosyo and also the LGUs which ordered these vaccines,” Galvez said.
The total number of AstraZeneca vaccines purchased by the private sector, including Friday’s shipment, has reached 2.3 million, while more than 46 million vaccines of various brands have been delivered to the country. (PNA)