Mayor Isko: Manila may be placed under lockdown when need arises

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 14) — Manila Mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso said on Sunday that he may place the capital under lockdown if citizens will continue to be complacent amid increase in the city’s COVID-19 cases.

Kung nakikita ko na nagpapabaya tayo at kinakailangan ihinto ang pag-inog ng Maynila gagawin ko po iyon,” he said in a public address streamed online, emphasizing that this will be done in order to protect the lives of each citizen.

[Translation: If I see that we are being complacent and the need to stop activities in Manila arises, I will do it.]

Moreno noted that the city’s bed capacity in hospitals is now at 41%, coming from 32% only last Friday, while occupancy in quarantine facilities is at 73%. He also said they recorded 270 new infections on March 14.

He explained that most of those in quarantine facilities are from the same household, meaning transmission of the virus is very high among families. This is aside from the possible presence of the COVID-19 variants that have already entered the country, he said.

For now, Moreno said the local economy will remain open and reminded the public to remain vigilant and to strictly follow minimum health protocols.

He also issued an order that the city government will again implement 30% manpower in some of their offices amid the surge in infections starting Monday.

On their vaccination rollout, the local chief executive said around 3,000 of their health workers were already vaccinated, but additional supply from the Health department has not arrived yet, leaving around 10,000 workers from both public and private health facilities unprotected.

He then urged the department to bring in more supply to achieve the goal of the government of immunizing the top priority sector in the vaccine rollout.

“While it is true, vaccination is the solution, but there is no [enough] vaccine yet, so please be careful. Please be vigilant,” Moreno said.

The government has so far received around 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from Sinovac and AstraZeneca, still not enough to cover the required 3.4 million doses to vaccinate all 1.7 million health workers across the country.

Based on government data, total cases in Manila are now 32,650, with more than 28,000 recoveries, and 730 deaths.