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Placing entire Philippines under MGCQ, a costly risk —OCTA Research

The government could be taking a costly risk if the entire Philippines would be  placed under the least stringent modified general community quarantine,  Dr. Guido David of the OCTA Research Team said Wednesday.

In an interview on Saksi sa Dobol B, David said they respect the recommendation of the economic team and understand the need to open up businesses but it should be gradual and take into consideration the possible risks such as surge in the number of COVID-19 cases.

“Gusto nating i-balance ang pagbubukas sa risk sa public health. Ayaw rin naman natin na 'pag nagkaroon ng pagtaas ng bilang ng kaso e mapipilitan tayong bumalik sa ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) o MECQ (modified enhanced community quarantine)," David said.

“Ayaw na natin bumalik dun kasi mas costly ‘yun sa ekonomiya natin 'pag nangyari ‘yun and may possibility na mangyari ‘yun kapag nagtake tayo ng masyadong malaking risk,” he added.

He said that many vital businesses are already open under the general community quarantine (GCQ).

“Kahit naman naka-GCQ tayo marami na tayong binubuksan na economic business sector, dinadagdagan natin. Pwede naman nating dagdagan ang public transportation sa halip na i-increase ang capacity,” he said.

He said they agree with the opening of museums and other establishments where wearing of face masks and face shields could be monitored but not the arcades.

“Kunwari sa museum wala namang nagko-contradict na magbukas ito. May businesses na namo-monitor natin ‘yung pagsusuot ng face mask, face shield ng mga tao. Ang arcade hindi ako kumbinsado. Ano ang madadagdag na kabuhayan nito? Baka marginal, fractional ang madagdag. Hindi malaking significance ‘yan,” he said.

David said OCTA recommends maintaning the GCQ classification to allow the government to control possible surge of cases.

“Kaya nirerecommend natin na manatili sa GCQ para may semblance of control tayo in case na…’yung ma-prevent natin ang possible surge,” he said.

On Monday, the National Economic Development Authority proposed to President Rodrigo Duterte placing the entire country under MGCQ starting March 1 to balance the country's response to stop the spread of COVID-19 and the need of Filipinos to start earning and spending.

It added that the proposal is seen to reduce hunger in areas under stringent lockdowns.

OCTA Research fellow Professor Ranjit Rye on Tuesday said the government must first focus on vaccinating health workers in Metro Manila before loosening restrictions.

As of Tuesday, the Philippines recorded 552,246 COVID cases with 511,796 recoveries and 11,524 fatalities. There were 28,926 remaining active cases undergoing treatment or quarantine.—AOL, GMA News