Local lockdowns enough for Metro Manila—WHO says

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Localized lockdowns in the National Capital Region (NCR)  will be sufficient enough to control the transmission of COVID-19, the World Health Organization  (WHO) said on Tuesday

The WHO’s advise is ahead of President Rodrigo Duterte’s  expected announcement of new community quarantine protocols.

The COVID-19 situation in Metro Manila does not warrant a stricter lockdown, WHO Philippine representative Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe said.

Abeyasinghe recommended that local government units (LGUs) should impose instead localized lockdowns.

“We don’t believe that the situation in the Metro requires a reversal (a strict community quarantine).   We recognize the impact of this outbreak not only on health but also on the economy,” he said in a virtual press briefing.

“There is a provision for localized lockdowns and while we are seeing an upsurge of cases within the NCR, in some localized cities, barangays, there is a need to make use of those provisions to suppress the transmission,” Abeyasinghe said.

The Philippines is set to adopt new community quarantine protocols on Wednesday.

Metro Manila transitioned to a general community quarantine at the start of the month from a modified enhanced community quarantine as the government sought to restart economic activity.

Metro Manila  has long been the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the Philippines but recently government officials have reported Cebu City and Cebu Province as among the emerging hotspots because of the recent spike in cases.

The WHO representative also reminded the public of the importance of the minimum health standards such as observing physical distancing and wearing face masks./Stacy Ang

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