A few weeks ago, the government initially announced their intent to pilot test granular lockdowns for Metro Manila. Presidential adviser for entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion wasted no time in pushing for his proposed “bakuna bubble” again. It seeks to allow more mobility for people who are fully vaccinated, and is currently something Cebu City is testing out.
In an interview aired on a local cable channel, he agreed with the granular lockdown as an approach. Alongside this was the hope guidelines or quarantine levels wouldn’t cause confusion to the public.
Recently, Metro Manila mayors had released a resolution urging the Inter-Agency Task for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to ease restrictions for the fully vaccinated. “What the mayors in NCR did was to put a resolution forward… What they want to do is to pilot test it and I agree with them,” Concepcion said.
In response to criticism that the proposal is a form of discrimination, he said he did not understand how that could be. Especially since hospital admissions of Covid19 patients are largely composed of people who are unvaccinated.
“The vaccines do protect those who take it from getting severe infections and going to hospitals. So, I don’t seem to understand why people are having a hard time accepting that as a fact,” Concepcion said, “when the rest of the world also sees the same thing, when they are reducing the mobility of those at high risk.”
The IATF provisionally approved the rules on the pilot testing of the granular lockdowns in Metro Manila. Upon perusal and approval of President Rodrigo Duterte, it came into effect starting September 16 and will last up to September 30.
Granular or localized lockdowns are meant for areas with a particularly high Covid19 case rate or “hotspots”. With the new system, quarantine classifications are now under two categories only: enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and general community quarantine (GCQ). The latter has been further broken down into four levels, meant to determine operations (capacity included) of establishments.
Metro Manila is currently under “GCQ Alert Level 4” which includes indoor dining and personal care for a small fraction of people provided they are fully vaccinated.