The chief implementer of President Rodrigo Duterte's pandemic response on Wednesday provided a glimpse of the way forward, as COVID-19 cases continue to rise with the gradual reopening of the economy -- localized lockdowns.
Duterte will deliver his penultimate State of the Nation Address on Monday where he is expected to focus on the twin economic and health crises spawned by the pandemic. In a preview to the speech, Secretary Carlito Galvez said the approach will be "hammer and dance." Hammer stands for lockdowns, while dance refers to the gradual reopening of businesses.
“The government shall continue to contain the spread of the virus through its zoning or containment strategy, or targeted lockdowns,” Galvez said in a government forum aired live on Facebook.
Galvez said testing capacity would be doubled to 50,000 daily to accompany the localized lockdowns. Some 10 million testing kits have been acquired, he said.
“Iwas po tayo sa ating maapektuhan ng COVID. Protektahan po natin and ating mga sarili para maprotektahan din and ating kabuhayan at ating ekonomiya,” he addressed the public.
(Let's prevent the spread of COVID. Let's protect ourselves so we can protect our livelihood and the economy.)