Half of target population in NCR vaccinated after 2-week ECQ

Half of target population in NCR vaccinated after 2-week ECQ

MANILA – Half of Metro Manila’s target population could be fully vaccinated after the two-week enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) from Aug. 6 to 20, a Palace official said on Thursday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this statement during the ceremonial program to celebrate 10 million Filipinos being fully vaccinated at the SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City.

The two-week ECQ would be used to ramp up the Covid-19 vaccination and healthcare capacity, Roque added.

“Sasamantalahin natin ang ECQ para lalo pa natin mapabilis po ang pagbabakuna (We will take advantage of the ECQ to speed up vaccinations),” he said in his speech.

Roque earlier said the government is going to distribute 4 million additional Covid-19 jabs to Metro Manila local governments amid stricter lockdowns.

Should Covid-19 vaccination run smoothly, Metro Manila may even finish vaccinating 50 percent of its target population, Roque said, quoting Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.

“Bulong nga po sa akin ng aking pinsan na si Secretary Duque, eh kapag nangyari po ito, malapit na tayo dumating sa punto na ang buong (My cousin, Secretary Duque, told me that we might reach the point where) Metro Manila will achieve 50 percent fully-vaccinated population, siguro po pagkatapos na pagkatapos ng ECQ (perhaps after the ECQ),” he said.

He encouraged the public to get their Covid-19 jabs as soon as they can, stressing that it is the only way for Filipinos to continue earning a living.

“Importante po na patuloy ang ating pagbabakuna dahil ito po ang magsisiguro na tayo pong lahat ay makakabalik sa ating trabaho, makakabalik sa ating pamilya, makakabalik sa dating mga buhay (It is important that we continue vaccinations so that we can return to work, return to our families, and return to our normal lives),” he said.

Meanwhile, he lauded joint efforts of the national government, local governments, and the private sector to continuously vaccinate more people against the disease.

Metro Manila will shift to the strictest ECQ from Aug. 6 to 20 to prevent the spread of the highly transmissible Delta variant.

Composed of 16 cities, Metro Manila currently has a population of over 13 million.

To date, the government has administered over 21.9 million Covid-19 vaccine doses. As of Aug. 4, 10 million Filipinos have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

The Philippines is aiming to achieve “population protection” against Covid-19 by inoculating 50 to 60 percent of the population with a concentration in Metro Manila, two other cities, and six provinces by yearend.

On Wednesday, the country logged 7,342 more Covid-19 cases, bringing the country’s total infections to 1,619,824.

Recoveries reached 1.528 million with 7,285 more patients getting better while 90 more deaths brought the death toll to 28,231.

Securing vax sites

Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police (PNP) leadership has directed police units to coordinate with local government units (LGUs) in securing vaccination sites to prevent crowding and long queues.

“Well, nagbigay tayo ng direktiba at napansin din natin niyan na dapat talaga ang ating pulis laging coordinated sa LGUs para alam ang sitwasyon dito sa pagbabakuna (We already gave a directive for that and we noted the need for our police to be coordinated with their LGUs regarding vaccinations),” PNP chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said in an interview with CNN Philippines.

Vaccination activities will continue in Metro Manila despite the two-week ECQ, as LGUs work double time in beefing up pandemic response amid the threat of the Covid-19 Delta variant.

“Let’s make these facilities or places where vaccinations will be held conducive for the observance of minimum health protocols,” Eleazar said.

Eleazar said LGUs must ensure proper information dissemination on vaccination schedules to avoid confusion among their constituents.

He also clarified that unvaccinated authorized persons outside of residence (APOR) will still be allowed to leave their homes.

This came after people flocked to various vaccination sites early Thursday over concerns that they will not be allowed to go out if they are unvaccinated. (with Priam Nepomuceno/PNA)

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