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Palace: High number of Pinoys worried about COVID-19 not a reflection of distrust in gov’t response

Malacañang said Thursday that the 91% of Filipinos who fear getting infected of COVID-19 as shown in the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) polls does not reflect lack of confidence in the government's COVID-19 response. 

"Hindi po ['yan lack of confidence sa mga hakbang ng gobyerno]. Ang kinatatakutan po nila ay ang virus. Dapat lang po kayo matakot kasi pag hindi po tayo nag-mask, hugas, iwas at bakuna, talagang magkakasakit at puedeng mamatay sa COVID-19," presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said. 

(This is not about lack of confidence on government measures. What they are afraid of is the virus, as they should, since the virus can make them sick and even die if they don't observe minimum public health standards and get vaccinated)," presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said.

Metro Manila, the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, has been placed under eased quarantine restrictions under Alert Level 3 from October 16 to 31.

The decision was made with the reproduction rate of COVID-19 in Metro Manila now at .6, resulting in a lower number of new daily COVID-19 cases.

The Alert Level 3 allows businesses to operate at 30% to 50%, provided that employees and the patrons are fully vaccinated.

Likewise, Alert Level 3 has allowed operation of cinemas at 30% capacity for fully vaccinated individuals, marking it the first time that cinemas were opened since March 2020.

Dr. Tony Leachon, a former government adviser on government response, opposed this move and warned that this could result in a surge of COVID-19 cases due to cinemas' lack of ventilation.

Roque, however, dismissed Leachon's warning.

"Hindi po kami natatakot sa rekomendasyon ni Dr. Leachon. Para lang po ito (mga sinehan) sa mga may bakuna, 30% lang, hindi magkakatabi, dapat may ventilation at air purifier (We are not afraid of what Dr. Leachon is saying. Cinemas will only be allowed to operate at 30% capacity, movie goers won't be sitting side by side, there will be ventilation and air purifier)," Roque said.

"Isipin rin natin ang mga naghahanapbuhay rito at iba pang mga related na industriya katulad ng artista, mga kameraman, extra na dito nakasalalay ang hanapbuhay (Let us also think of people who are working in this industry in need of earning their keep)," he added. — Llanesca T. Panti/RSJ, GMA News