Senator Cynthia Villar does not see the need to bring Metro Manila back under an enhanced community quarantine, despite calls from medical professionals and health workers for a two-week "time out."
In a radio interview, Villar said Filipinos will just "have to learn to live with COVID-19," saying the country can no longer afford to shut down the economy again.
Asked if Metro Manila should revert to an ECQ status, the senator said: "Hindi na siguro, pagbutihin nila trabaho nila.Hindi pwedeng isara ang ekonomiya kasi kung di naman mamamatay sa COVID, mamamatay naman sa gutom ang tao."
Villar was responding to a plea from various medical groups for President Rodrigo Duterte to place the National Capital Region under ECQ anew as health workers are already worn out due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases being admitted in hospitals.
On Friday, Philippine College of Physicians Vice President Dr. Maricar Limpin also appealed for a two-week ECQ as many hospital workers are already experiencing physical exhaustion and depression.
But for Villar, exhaustion is part of everybody's life.
"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 said.
Instead of going back to a much stricter quarantine, Villar urged the government, particularly the Department of Health and other agencies tasked with the COVID-19 response, to step up their efforts.
"Kailangan imotivate natin ang health department na pagbutihin pa nila at di nila pababayaan," she said.
Villar said the global pandemic showed the need to improve health facilities and services by allotting more budget to the health sector.
She also suggested the construction of a dedicated facility for asymptomatic cases or those not displaying COVID-19 symptoms.
Unlike Villar, some of her colleagues in the Senate think the medical workers' plea should be considered by the government. -MDM, GMA News