Following the Department of Health’s (DOH) projection of over 10,600 daily COVID-19 cases in the National Capital Region (NCR) by October, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) today rallied all local government units (LGUs) to be more vigilant and reinforce measures against COVID-19 to impede the projected increase in cases until the end of the year.

DILG Secretary Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos, Jr. said DOH’s projection is a clear warning that all LGUs should take seriously. He said LGUs must not relax their COVID-19 measures and stand guard on cases in their respective localities to mitigate the possibility of a surge in the coming months.

“Kami po ay nananawagan sa ating LGUs na bantayang mabuti ang mga kaso ng COVID sa kanilang nasasakupan. We are still in a pandemic and we count on our local officials to lead this war, especially in the coming months where alarming numbers of COVID-19 cases are projected,” Abalos said.

He called on LGUs to fortify their measures against COVID-19, following the DOH’s recent projection of increase in COVID-19 cases in NCR by October, which can even extend to other parts of the country until the end of the year.

“Marami tayong kababayan ang naghahanap-buhay sa Metro Manila. Ito ang economic center ng bansa, kaya dapat malakas ang depensa nito at mapigilan natin ang pagtaas ng kaso na maaaring kumalat sa ibang lugar sa bansa,” Abalos said.

As of August 11, 2022, NCR leads the regions in the country with the most number of COVID-19 cases registering 15,804 new cases in the last 14 days followed by CALABARZON with 10,049; Central Luzon with 5,102; and, Western Visayas with 2,760 cases.

The DOH attributed the projected number to the low administration of booster doses, low compliance to prescribed health and safety protocols, increase in human mobility, and fast transmission of Omicron subvariants.

“I urge all of you to support the government’s vaccination efforts such as PinasLakas. Vaccines have carried us through the murk of the pandemic. We are able to go back to our old ways because of them kaya sana ay makita ng ating mga kababayan ang malaking tulong na ito,” the DILG Chief said.

PinasLakas is DOH’s campaign that aims to immunize 23.8 million or at least 50 percent of the eligible population with the COVID-19 booster shot within the first 100 days of the Marcos administration.

The DILG Secretary likewise urged all LGUs in the country to ensure that they are not lenient in enforcing minimum public health standards (MPHS) and are proactive in their booster shot and vaccination drives.

“We cannot let our guards down. The projected number of cases in NCR is a clear sign for all LGUs in the country to step up their campaign because COVID-19 can again trickle to your own backyards. We must work collectively para matuldukan na ang pandemya ito,” Abalos said.

In his first State of the Nation (SONA), President Ferdinand ‘BongBong’ R. Marcos, Jr. stressed that imposing a lockdown under his administration is out of the question. “Hindi na natin kakayanin ang isa pang lockdown. Wala na tayong gagawing lockdown. Dapat nating balansehin nang maayos ang kalusugan at kapakanan ng ating mga mamamayan sa isang banda, at ang ekonomiya naman sa kabilang banda.”

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