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    Villar on medical groups’ call for ECQ in NCR: Hindi na siguro, pagbutihin nila trabaho nila

    MANILA, Philippines – Senator Cynthia Villar thumbed down the calls of medical professionals and groups to revert Metro Manila to enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) status. She said "they need to work hard" amid this battle against COVID-19.

    Villar on medical groups’ call for ECQ in NCR

    "Hindi na siguro, pagbutihin nila trabaho nila," Villar said in an interview on DWIZ on Saturday, August 1.

    "May time in our lives na ikaw talaga ang mapapagod. Iba-iba naman ang kalamidad. So itong kalamidad na ito ang mapapagod dito ang health frontliners natin. Iba iba yan, but I guess we need to work hard," she added.

    Villar mentioned that lockdown will collapse the economy and more Filipinos will die due to hunger.

    "Hindi pwedeng isara ang ekonomiya kasi kung di naman mamamatay sa COVID, mamamatay naman sa gutom ang tao," she said.

    Asked whether the economy can recover while in the general community quarantine (GCQ), she said: We have to live with COVID 19. Hindi natin pwedeng isara ang ekonomiya, kailangan pag-igihin ng DOH at iba pang agency ang kanilang hakbang. Pwede na ang parang lockdown. Kapag lockdown kasi magsa-suffer ang ekonomiya. I guess we have to live with COVID 19. Kaya nga ako namimigay ng tarp na nagpapaalala sa mga tao ng protocols, namimigay din ng mask. I guess we have to live with this and go on with our lives.

    UPDATEVillar clarifies: Gov't leaders, not frontliners, need to work harder

    Villar also called out hospitals to increase their hospital beds dedicated to COVID-19 and announced plan of the government for asymptomatic patients.

    "Konti lang kasi inilalagay nila for covid. kung 10% lang binigay mo madaling mapuno yun. Magbibuild din ng facility ang government para sa asymptomatic," she said.

    The medical society on Saturday had an online press conference urging the government to give them at least 2 weeks of “breathing space”. They said the health care system has been overwhelmed, with hospitals temporarily closing to decongest and health workers falling ill.

    “We’re waging a losing battle against COVID-19 and we need to draw up a consolidated, definitive plan of action. We propose that the ECQ be used as a timeout to refine our pandemic control strategies addressing the following urgent conditions or problems: hospital workforce efficiency; failure of contact tracing and quarantine; transportation safety; workplace safety; public compliance with self-protection; social amelioration," Philippine Medical Association (PMA) president Dr. Jose Santiago said.

    Palace Spokesperson Harry Roque also rejected the calls of medical professionals. He said the strict lockdown in Metro Manila has “served its purpose,” and the government needs to “intensify other strategies.”

    President Rodrigo Duterte in a taped addres on Friday, announced that Metro Manila, Cebu and other areas will be under general community quarantine (GCQ) until August 15, even as the country’s COVID-19 cases continue to rise.

    As of August 1, the nationwide COVID-19 total reached 98,232 after a record-breaking 4,963 new confirmed cases. Most of the cases were logged in NCR and Cavite province, 2,667 and 405, respectively.

    — The Summit Express

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