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Lowest Quarantine for Metro Manila? There's a Catch, Says Trade Chief

Once more: face masks, face shields, physical distancing.
by Joel Guinto
Sep 22, 2020
Photo/s: Jerome Ascaño

Trade Sec. Ramon Lopez said Tuesday he was in favor of loosening the quarantine in Metro Manila to the lowest level, MGCQ, as long as millions of residents follow safety rules such as wearing of face masks and face shields.

Lopez said he was expressing his opinion. Six months of quarantine should be enough to instill discipline on COVID-19 protocols. Current quarantine classifications are good until Sept. 30.

Aside from wearing face masks and face shields outdoors, the government also maintained the one-meter minimum physical distancing in public transport. Contact-tracing was also intensified in recent weeks with apps and QR code tech to make logging contact details as easy as cashless shopping.

"Kapag ito ay sinusunod ng sambayanan, bumababa ang transmission (Transmission goes down if the public complies)," Lopez told TeleRadyo.

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Metro Manila needs to improve contact-tracing, reduce the number of time it takes for infections to double (called the case doubling rate) and prevent the number of severe infections from overwhelming hospitals (called critical care utilization).

"Subukan na natin itong MGCQ basta ang ating sambayanan handang i-commit  na susunod sa ating minimum health standards... Kapag nag-cooperate ang sambayanan, mabubuksan natin ang ekonomiya much further (Let's try MGCQ as long as our countrymen will commit to following minimum health standards... When there is public cooperation, we can open up the economy much further)," he said.

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