It’s “counterintuitive,” says Dr Anthony Leachon, health education and reform advocate, about the decision to place the National Capital Region (NCR) under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) from September 8 to 30 with granular lockdowns at the same time that the Department of Health announced that the NCR is under alert level 4.
The highest alert level is up over all areas of the NCR except for the City of Manila, owing to the rise of Covid-19 cases and the subsequent increase in hospital bed utilization rates, said the DOH.
“[Granular lockdowns are] counterintuitive when we are in a mega surge > 20 K / days the last few days,” said Dr Leachon in a series of tweets.
While the Interagency Task Force on Covid-19 (IATF) has yet to release details of the granular lockdowns to be piloted across the NCR in place of tighter quarantine measures, “We should not experiment during crisis especially if the numbers are scary to start with,” Leachon wrote. “Dig deep for the cause.”
Leachon cited the recent figures released by various health agencies, including the 20,000 plus new cases per day, the virus’ high reproduction number (1.4), and the high positivity rates of testing (28%).
Furthermore, Leachon pointed to the “full hospitals and demoralized health care workforce” among the realities facing the nation as it grapples with the surge in Covid cases.
“In my personal opinion I don’t know on how [sic] the government can pull off a granular lockdown when we have not been able to do it successfully in the past,” Leachon concluded, especially when “we are not doing well in testings, contact tracings , isolation , quarantine, and vaccinations.”
Around the same time that Malacañang spokesperson Harry Roque announced that the NCR will pilot the granular lockdowns model while under GCQ, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire warned the public about the heightened alert level over NCR. Vergeire said in an online briefing that Alert Level 4 means the area has been classified as moderate- to critical-risk.
What do you think of granular lockdowns ?
It’s counterintuitive when most of the areas in NCR are in alert level 4.
We should not experiment during crisis especially if the numbers are scary to start with. Dig deep for the root cause.
— Tony Leachon MD (@DrTonyLeachon) September 6, 2021
Subscribe to The Coconuts Podcast for top trending news and pop culture from Southeast Asia and Hong Kong every Friday!