Impose granular lockdowns if COVID cases rise — Palace
Malacañang enjoined local government units to impose granular or localized lockdowns in areas with an uptick in Covid-19 cases to prevent infections from again reaching an alarming level.
Acting Presidential Spokesperson, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, said President Rodrigo Duterte and the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) are concerned about the surge in infections, noting LGUs should step up in efforts to control the movement of people.
“Of course, we are getting worried, at dapat lang. Kaya ang panawagan is LGUs please enforce. Kapag may tumataas ang bilang ng kaso, granular lockdown. Hindi po nawala sa equation ang granular lockdown,” he said.
Nograles said it is the responsibility of LGUs to impose granular lockdowns, especially in areas where there is clustering of cases.
He said granular lockdowns can be done on a household level, street level, purok level, community level, and/or barangay level.
“Huwag nating kalimutan iyan, huwag nating hayaan na lumaki pa ito,” he added.
He, however, also reminded the public that controlling the spread of Covid-19 is also everyone’s responsibility.
“Hindi po dapat nakaatang lamang sa balikat ng pamahalaan ninyo or ng LGU; nakaatang ito sa balikat nating lahat. It is a shared responsibility of all. Self-police among yourselves, in your family, in your community, sa inyong barangay, lahat po tayo. Huwag nating sayangin ang lahat ng pinaghirapan nating lahat,” he said.
Nograles said the public should continue adhering to minimum public health standards.
Citing reports of crowding in public spaces, Nograles said people should not be too complacent.
“Hindi dahil naka-mask tayo at naghugas tayo at bakunado tayo, nakakalimutan natin iyong iwas,” he added.
With the announcement of new alert levels for Jan. 1 to 15, 2022 set this week, Nograles said the President has the discretion to elevate the status if needed.
The entire country is currently under alert level 2 where most activities are allowed at a 50 percent indoor venue capacity for fully vaccinated individuals and at 70 percent outdoor venue capacity.
Department of Health Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire said Covid-19 cases are expected to increase due to holiday-related mobility.
She said the uptick in the number of infections is also caused by reduced compliance to the minimum public health standards apart from increased mobility.
“We are continuously monitoring the situation, though we cannot still be certain that the increase in cases is due to the Omicron Variant. We are calling on the public and the LGUs to ensure safety protocols are implemented and every Filipino is vaccinated,” she said. – PNA