No More ECQ? Street-Level Lockdowns Coming Up

Granular is more effective, says Palace.
Photo/s: Jerome Ascaño

The Philippines is moving towards the removal of province-wide community quarantines in favor of granular lockdowns, Malacañang said Thursday as the country faces yet another surge on the second year of the pandemic.

Local lockdowns, or those that are village or street-wide, are more "effective" in terms of controlling the spread of the virus based on the Philippines' experience, Palace spokesperson Harry Roque said.

"The science supports and our experience supports the view na mas epektibo po talaga ang localized at granular lockdowns," Roque said in a Palace press briefing.

"We are moving towards that direction na dahil ang LGUs naman talaga ang nakakaalam kung nasaan ang mga areas [na high-risk sa COVID-19]...It's a principle that has been approved as a principle pero yung details hindi pa po na-approve," he said.

The government first implemented lockdowns in March last year, starting with the very first "community quarantine" in Metro Manila.

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Later, the government passed a four-tier community quarantine system ranging from the strictest enhanced community quarantine or ECQ to the loosest modified general community quarantine or MGCQ.

It has been the system of the government to change or update the community quarantine protocols every two weeks in line with the 14-day incubation period of the virus.

This August, the government revived the strictest lockdown, ECQ, in Metro Manila and select provinces due to a surge in COVID-19 cases fueled by the highly contagious coronavirus Delta variant.

For now, the government's inter-agency task force on pandemic response is set to meet Thursday to discuss the new community quarantine protocols for the month of September since prevailing restrictions are set to expire on Aug. 31.


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