San Juan to vote for stricter quarantine classification in upcoming NCR mayors' meeting

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 28) — San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora will push for the implementation of stricter quarantine measures during the emergency meeting of Metro Manila mayors and the government's pandemic response task force today.

Zamora told CNN Philippines' The Source on Wednesday morning that the emergency meeting of the Metro Manila Council and the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases will take place at 1:30 pm, and they will tackle the government's next steps as more cases of the highly transmissible Delta coronavirus variant are detected in the National Capital Region.

"If there will be any votation regarding stricter measures, doon po ako papanig (that's where I will side on)," Zamora said.

"Wag na tayong maging naive about the fact na siguradong napakaraming kaso (ng Delta) na hindi lang natin alam," he added.

[Translation: Let us not be naive about the fact that for sure, there are many Delta cases but we just don't know about yet.]

Zamora stressed that many cases of the feared variant may have been unreported, so an aggressive approach needs to be applied instead of being "reactive" to the situation. He clarified, however, that his vote will still depend on the proposals that may come up in the meeting.

"Remember, na-experience naman natin kahit GCQ merong heightened restrictions....Let's see kung anong modification ang gagawin. But whatever it is, terminology lang yan. Ang importante yung execution and implementation," he added.

[Translation: Remember, we have experienced being under general community quarantine with heightened restrictions...let's see what modifications will be done. But whatever it is, it's only a matter of terminology. What matters is the execution and the implementation.]

Metro Manila is under GCQ with heightened restrictions until July 31. Curfew hours are observed in the capital region from 10:00 pm to 4:00 am to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

OCTA Research has recommended the implementation of a hard lockdown in Metro Manila as it has been recording an average of 1,000 infections daily. The COVID-19 research watchdog has warned this may double in just two weeks.

READ: OCTA pushes for 'circuit breaking' lockdown in Metro Manila amid ongoing COVID-19 surge 

Health Undersecretary Rosario Vergeire urged local government units observing case spikes to implement granular lockdowns and strengthen the PDITR or prevention, detection, isolation, treatment, and reintegration strategies to "maintain the status quo."

"In the IATF, there is an appeals process for LGUs to ask for reclassification of their respective jurisdictions, based on a set of metrics. We have to hear the side of LGUs as to the on-the-ground status of their local health capacity to check if there is a need to escalate or de-escalate," Vergeire added.