About time PH is placed under MGCQ, says Trade chief
MANILA, Philippines — Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez on Friday said it is high time to place the whole country under the more permissive modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) in March since the number of Covid-19 cases are being managed efficiently.
He said on Friday that some sectors have lobbied for a downgrading of quarantine classifications since November last year but health experts have advised against it considering that a surge of cases may be seen during the holiday season and there was the threat of a new Covid-19 variant.
However, as the holidays went by, no surge of Covid-19 cases were observed.
“Hindi naman natin nakita ‘yung malaking spike diyan noong January. Pinalagpas ang January, pinalagpas ang February, kaya po ngayon I think nasa tamang oras na rin nung gradual reopening,” Lopez said in a Laging Handa public briefing.
(We did not see a huge spike in cases in January. We let January pass by, we let February pass, so now I think it is the right time for the gradual reopening.)
The wait between November and March, Lopez said, allowed the government to expand the health care capacity and observe the new Covid-19 variant.
“I think it allowed us to buy time para madagdagan pa ‘yung mga hospital rooms for Covid-19 [cases] at saka mas ma-observe pa lalo itong pumasok na variant,” he said.
(I think it allowed us to buy time to add hospital rooms for Covid-19 cases and to observe the new variant.)
“We believe naman na nama-manage pa rin ang cases. We are hopeful, we are confident na ma-maintain natin itong dahan-dahan na reopening and yet wala tayong ie-expect na surge o spike,” Lopez added.
(We believe that the number of Covid-19 cases are being managed and we are hopeful and confident that we can maintain the gradual reopening of the economy without expecting a surge or spike in the number of cases.)
He added while the economy will gradually reopen, there will be no let up in the enforcement of health protocols.