Duterte to public: Support localized lockdown policy

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte appealed to the public to be more patient and understanding as the government decided to take a new approach in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Duterte said the planned shift to localized lockdowns is seen as a more effective solution to stop the further transmission of the dreaded respiratory disease.

“I ask for a general public’s continued understanding and patience on this matter,” he said in a taped Talk to the People delivered Friday night and aired Saturday morning.

This, after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) “provisionally” approved the guidelines for the pilot of a new Covid-19 alert level system in Metro Manila.

The proposed system is composed of Levels 1 to 4 and will be implemented on a weekly basis in each city or municipality.

The new approach will do away with the current strategy of implementing city-wide or province-wide community quarantine throughout the country.

Duterte said the policy shift would help bring down the number of people who are acquiring Covid-19.

“I know that many of you are raring to go to work and conduct your business already but we have to make sure that we cover any contingency so that we may reduce the risk of infection,” he said.

He added that his administration has to try new strategies because he does not want people to leave the impression that he failed to deal with Covid-19.

“But the problem is buhay eh (we’re talking about life). Iyan ang mahirap (That’s the problem). And I would not want to be remembered as one who caused the death of so many,” Duterte said.

Duterte acknowledged that the IATF-EID still needs to further refine the guidelines.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government on Friday said the new alert system may be pilot-tested on September 16 to 30.

Metro Manila is under modified enhanced community quarantine until September 15. (PNA)

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