Deputy Speaker for Trade and Industry Wes Gatchalian on Tuesday said it is better to err on the side of caution to avoid the possible surge in coronavirus infections should the government move to ease quarantine restrictions.
“It is better to err on the side of caution because should another surge in cases occur, we might needlessly flood our almost in full-capacity hospitals to the detriment of the whole health care system,” Gatchalian said in a statement.
“We have to ensure that the COVID-19 cases in the country first stabilize to manageable levels before we began easing quarantine restrictions nationwide,” he added.
Although the Philippines is set to start coronavirus vaccination, the lawmaker noted that inoculation of the public does not necessarily guarantee immunity from the virus.
Gatchalian said this after acting socioeconomic planning Secretary Karl Chua recommended placing the entire country under the most lenient modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) to mitigate poverty and income loss amid the pandemic—a proposal that the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases and majority of Metro Manila mayors agreed.
However, President Rodrigo Duterte rejected this proposal, saying the “the Philippines would not be placed under MGCQ unless there is a rollout of vaccines.”