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‘LGUs play vital role in shift to lockdowns’

Local government units will be at the forefront in determining the quarantine status in their areas as part of the country’s possible shift to granular lockdowns, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said yesterday.

“What will happen here in our shift of policy is that there will be no massive lockdown if not granular lockdowns and LGUs will play a big role because they will actually determine their community quarantine classification and only the national will determine when there is a specific area should be placed in ECQ or maximum lockdown but, of course, it has different categories depending on the alert level. This is for some areas to continue economic activity under GCQ,” Año said in a radio interview.

He added that this is among the measures eyed by the government in “living with the virus” while ensuring continuity of livelihood as part of pandemic response efforts.

“It will not severely affect a whole province or entire city of being paralyzed. By this time, we will have a big population of vaccinated persons. We are adjusting to the changing times,’’ he added.

On Thursday, the National Economic Development Authority expressed hope that community quarantine measures would be less restrictive by September to ease the impacts of lockdowns on the economy.

Año, however, clarified that the plan has yet to be approved by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Under granular lockdowns, Año stressed that except for healthcare workers, other authorized persons outside residence are prohibited from leaving their homes.

Año said this came as the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council has recommended to the President to extend the state of calamity in the country due to Covid-19 which is set to lapse on September 12.

“We are working to jive this with a possible shift in policy and for our LGUs to prepare for this, but of course, this will happen upon the President’s approval,” he added.

RECOVERIES

Some 6,771 individuals have recovered from Covid-19 yesterday, bringing the total number of recoveries to 1,741,089.

In its daily Covid-19 bulletin, the Department of Health said this is equivalent to a 90.8-percent recovery rate, out of a total of 1,916,461 infections since the start of the pandemic.

The DOH added that the number of Covid-19 tests it has administered on Wednesday – with the data released yesterday – reached 70,396, with 26.1 percent returning positive with Covid-19.

The country also recorded another 17,447 new infections, bringing the number of active cases to 142,531 or 7.4 percent of all known infections in the country.

Of these active cases, the majority at 96.2 percent have mild symptoms, followed by the asymptomatic and those with severe symptoms at 1.1 percent each, those with moderate symptoms at 0.96 percent, and those in critical condition at 0.6 percent.

It reported 113 new deaths, bringing the total number to 32,841, or 1.71 percent of all cases in the country.

In the National Capital Region, there are 1,400 beds at intensive care units at 75 percent occupancy, 4,700 isolation beds at 62 percent occupancy, 4,200 ward beds at 73 percent occupancy, and 59 percent of its 1,200 ventilators are in use.

In the entire country, there are 4,200 ICU beds 75 percent occupancy, 20,400 isolation beds at 62 percent occupancy, 14,800 ward beds at 69 percent occupancy, and 53 percent of its 3,200 ventilators are in use.*PNA

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