The country’s health sector should make the most of the seven-day heightened restrictions in the National Capital Region, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), by improving its response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), particularly its highly transmissible Delta variant.
“With respect to the heightened restrictions between now and the end of the month, our request to our health sector is to use this time to come up with a contingency plan in handling the surge in Covid-19 cases,” NEDA Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon said in Filipino during a Laging Handa briefing on Friday.
She explained that the restrictions on mobility, such as the recently announced general community quarantine in Metro Manila with heightened restrictions from July 23 to July 31, are being implemented not only to prevent the virus from spreading but also to strengthen the country’s health system.
The seven-day heightened restrictions, according to Edillon, will also play a crucial role in the Covid-19 immunization distribution.
“A silver lining is that while this Delta variant is already in the country, our vaccine supply continues to arrive and our vaccination rate is increasing.”
Businesses, on the other hand, should continue to “Covid-proof” their operations in order to keep the country’s economy afloat, according to the NEDA official.
She expressed optimism in the country’s economic recovery, citing systems in place, the health sector’s contingency plan, and the ongoing supply of vaccines.
It can be noted that the government still sees the economy recovering between 6 and 7 percent this year, with the Development Budget Coordination Committee’s (DBCC) saying a more aggressive implementation of the prevention, detection, isolation, treatment and recovery strategy, as well as full vaccination of residents in high-risk areas, will help to boost consumer and business confidence, strengthen the country’s health system and prevent community transmissions of the Delta variant.
The DBCC went on to urge that relaxing quarantine laws in high-risk areas should be accompanied by a faster vaccination deployment to allow more enterprises to open and consumers to participate in socioeconomic activities.
BY MEYNARD DELA CERNA