3,093 families affected by granular lockdowns in NCR – MMDA

Ralph Edwin Villanueva - The Philippine Star
3,093 families affected by granular lockdowns in NCR â MMDA
A sign warning people not to enter the Pasay City Sports Complex is seen at the entrance on Sept. 3, 2021 as it was converted into one of the isolation facilities of the local government to augment the overwhelmed hospitals in the city.
The STAR / Miguel de Guzman, file

MANILA, Philippines — More than 3,000 families have been affected by granular lockdowns across Metro Manila, the chairman of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said.

During President Duterte’s talk to the nation Monday night, MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos reported that a total of 3,093 families have been subjected to granular lockdowns.

“We have done granular lockdowns and we have separated areas that have infections. Now, we have 3,093 families affected,” Abalos said in Filipino.

Despite this, there were no whole barangays that were closed down, the chairman said.

“Whole communities were not closed down. Zero. We have nine roads, three buildings, 101 condominiums and 48 compounds that were closed down. We really separated the areas that were not infected so other people could work,” he added.

Metro Manila was placed under general community quarantine with alert level four last week until the end of the month. 
The chairman bared that as of Monday, the region has 36,042 active cases.

There was a downward trend of active cases in the region starting Sept. 15, when the active cases in Metro Manila “peaked” at 40,112.

There has been a gradual decrease in the number of active cases.

“Although (the decrease in cases) is thin, hopefully, it continues,” he said.

Eighty percent of the eligible population of the metro is also expected to be fully vaccinated by next month, Abalos said, and about 90 percent by Dec.15.

NCR projection

The projection that there will be some 17,000 to 43,000 new cases of COVID-19 in the National Capital Region (NCR) by the end of September may not actually happen, the Department of Health said Monday night.

In an interview with “The Chiefs” on OneNews, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire noted there are recent estimates that the daily tally of COVID-19 in NCR may no longer be this projection due to the interventions implemented in the past weeks.

“Based on recent updated projections, it seems that there are improvements… Definitely, our interventions are working, but we have to strengthen them across all areas,” she added.

But Vergeire refused to disclose the new data, saying these will be presented to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) at a meeting tomorrow.

She said these interventions include the increased coverage of COVID-19 vaccination and shortened duration of the detection to isolation, which pertains to the period during which a COVID-19 case is detected and sent to isolation.

The official also cited community quarantine and the “little” improvement in compliance with safe protocols.

Asked about the Alert Level System implemented in the NCR started Sept. 16, Vergeire claimed the impact of the new strategy will not be immediately felt.

“Usually when we implement an intervention, we wait two to three weeks, sometimes longer, because of inoculation period (of the virus),” she added.

Meanwhile, the Department of Tourism yesterday said it is studying tourism reopening models being used by neighboring Southeast Asian countries, in a bid to jumpstart the tourism sector. 
In a statement yesterday, Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat said it is studying the implementation of Thailand’s Phuket Sandbox model, which was piloted by the country back in July.

According to the Thai embassy, the Phuket Sandbox model allows vaccinated Thai and foreign travelers to enter Phuket. The travelers would not need to be quarantined, but they should stay in Phuket for at least two weeks. Afterwards, they would be allowed to visit other destinations in Thailand.

Puyat said they are looking into the possibility of this model, but emphasized that health and safety are always paramount.

The secretary said that as more tourism spots gradually reopen, the department would continue to vaccinate tourism workers. – Sheila Crisostomo

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