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Metro Manila to vaccinate 250K individuals daily vs. COVID-19 during ECQ —Abalos

The Metro Manila mayors have agreed to continue with the 250,000 vaccinations a day during the two-week reimposed enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the National Capital Region (NCR), Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman Benhur Abalos Jr. said Saturday.

In an interview on Dobol B TV, Abalos disclosed that the local chief executives have discussed the target numbers of vaccinations, the financial aid, and the border controls in their meeting on Friday night.

“Nag-meeting lamang kami para paghandaan talaga ang mangyayari in the next several days dahil mabigat ito, magbabakuna kami ng 250,000 a day,” Abalos said.

(We held a meeting to prepare for the next several days, especially in the vaccination program because we will still inoculate 250,000 individuals a day.)

“At the same time, ‘yung mga kaakibat na ayuda ay pinag-usapan din, 'yung magiging listahan dito, 'yung magiging preparasyon dito at kung papaano ang mga border controls,” he added.

(At the same time, we talked about the financial aid, the list for it, the preparations for this, and the border controls that we will implement.)

Apart from the Metro Manila mayors, the meeting was attended by vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr., testing czar Vince Dizon, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, and Interior Secretary Eduardo Año.

Abalos justified the reimposition of the strictest quarantine classification in Metro Manila.

Citing projections from the health experts, Abalos said the COVID-19 cases in the region may reach over 28,000 by August 15, over 85,000 by August 31, over 234,000 by September 15, and over 510,000 by September 30 with the entry of the more transmissible Delta coronavirus variant.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire on Saturday said even with heightened restrictions and the reimposition of hard lockdown, the number of active COVID-19 cases in the NCR might increase to over 30,000.

Vergeire said, “[T]hese lockdowns will help us prepare the [health] system but it is not going to control the spread.”

Financial aid, liquor ban

Abalos also said they will continue with the physical distribution of financial aid to qualified beneficiaries but they will ensure that minimum health protocols are observed.

With regard to the liquor ban, the MMDA chairman said it is still one of the issues that is “on the table” but they are eyeing to impose uniform guidelines for this.

On Friday morning, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque announced that Metro Manila will be placed under ECQ from August 6 to 20 in a bid to slow down the transmission of the Delta coronavirus variant in the country.

From July 31 to August 5, however, the region will be under general community quarantine "subject to heightened and additional restrictions.”

“Mapait na desisyon ito pero ito ay para sa kabutihan ng lahat [This is a painful decision but it is for the good of the people],” Roque said at a press briefing. —KG, GMA News