Gov’t balancing rebooting economy, imposing health protocols

Gov’t balancing rebooting economy, imposing health protocols

Presidential Peace Adviser and National Task Force (NTF) Covid-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. (file photo)

MANILA – The government will impose localized lockdowns to balance economic activities and health objectives of the country amid the coronavirus pandemic, National Task Force (NTF) on Covid-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said Monday.

Galvez, also the presidential peace adviser, said the second phase of the national action plan (NAP) focuses on the five strategic objectives which will be implemented from June to September.

“For the national action plan, we will still follow our national strategy on preventing, detect, isolate, treat and reintegrate,” he said in a virtual public briefing.

Galvez said the “battle cry” under the second phase of the NAP includes saving lives and mitigating Covid-19 impact toward economic and social recovery.

“The strategy design of the second phase concentrates on the five strategic objectives wherein to contain and manage the emerging new cases, sustain the gains that we had… and learn from the best practices and continue to capacitating and building resiliency to our hospitals,” he added.

Galvez said while there is a need for economic recovery, the government should not compromise the stringent health protocols and people’s safety against the risks of Covid-19.

“Nandito po tayo sa sitwasyon na dahan-dahan nating binuksan ang ating ekonomiya, bagaman nandito po ang threat virus, kailangan na nating i-recover ang ating ekonomiya para manumbalik po ang negosyo at trabaho ng ating mamamayan (We are in a situation where we are slowly opening up our economy, although the threat virus is still here, we need to recover our economy to restore the livelihood and the jobs of our people),” he said.

Galvez cited the importance of prevention and self-awareness against Covid-19 infection.

“Also we have to rebalance the health and economic objectives using the (hammer and dance) theory, localizing our response by leaving our LGUs (local government units) to the (front-line) with people’s support and vigilance. Lastly to keep the fatality rate low including the non-Covid cases,” he said.

The government is strengthening contact tracing and testing capacity, he said.

“To effectively manage Covid-19, more of the responsibilities shift to the LGU, to the private company, and the individual citizen,” Galvez said.

The second phase of the NAP will be implemented through localized lockdowns, massive information dissemination, stricter enforcement of the quarantine protocols, and minimum health standards, Galvez said.

“Ang ating hiningi sa ating mga mamamayan ay magkaroon po tayo ng disiplina (We ask discipline from our countrymen),” he said.

Meanwhile, Secretary Vivencio Dizon, NTF Covid-19 deputy chief implementer, said the country has now a total of 85 laboratories nationwide which have helped the country to hit one million testing capacity as of July 11.

From the 500 tests per day in March, he said the country has already been testing 25,000 per day as of July 9, which is very close to the target of 30, 000 tests per day by the end of July.

On the other hand, Galvez said the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases has agreed to put some areas under stricter community quarantine due to the observed spike on Covid-19 cases.

He also cited the vital role of LGUs in the suggested a “hybrid” community quarantine classification.

Galvez said under a “hybrid” community quarantine, there are stricter quarantine measures and social control but a more relaxed restriction on businesses and other economic activities.

The minimum health standards could be best done by the LGUs, he said, as local leaders can immediately adhere to the Covid-19 emergency response. (PNA)

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