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Quimbo backs MECQ in Metro Manila despite loss of ‘P12B per day’

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Marikina Rep. Stella Quimbo said on Monday she supports the switch to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) from general community quarantine (GCQ) in Metro Manila despite the loss of P12 billion per day.

“Though we stand to lose 12B pesos per day, I support the shift from GCQ to MECQ for NCR and others, given the recent spikes in new Covid cases,” the former UP economics professor said.

Quimbo reasoned that medical frontliners “are in the best position to assess whether our health care system still has the capacity to care for our increasing number of Covid patients.”

“When Covid data are questionable, ang pulso ng frontliners ang mas matimbang. Pakinggan natin sila. But this time, let’s use this lockdown period productively. Reboot natin ang Covid plans,” she said.

“Let us seriously assess how to better collect, analyze, and report data. We must use data strategically to reduce new infections,” she suggested.

“The DOH must clearly communicate to the public what each one has to do to keep their families safe. When one’s family is safe, the community is safe, and the nation is safe. Then, our economy can move forward and each worker can begin to earn a living again,” Quimbo said.

“Let’s use this ‘timeout’ to plan how to report data in a way that reminds people how one’s actions impact everyone else. Being careful for one’s self will help take care of our community and country. Isipin ang sarili pati bayan. Kapag sarili Lang ang iisipin, tiyak na kakalat ang virus,” she added.

:For example, DOH should report and emphasize the number of available COVID beds in each city and province rather than at the national level,” she said.

“Aanhin ng isang taga-Marikina ang datos na meron pang 7k isolation beds available sa buong bansa kung sa Marikina o sa karatig na lungsod ay halos ubos na? One might end up engaging in risky behavior when given the false impression that all is well,” she said.

“Why emphasize that 90 percent of cases are mild, when this could make people careless? Data presentation is a major driver of people’s behaviour. Kailangan mangamba ang tao para seryosohin nila ang malagim na sitwasyon na hinaharap natin,” Quimbo said.

“Let’s use the lockdown period to plan for a more localized approach to disease control moving forward,” she said.

“Finally, the DOH must earn the people’s trust. Pag walang tiwala tao, di lahat susunod sa plano. Again, pag may maiwan, sira plano. The best way to earn people’s trust is to report data truthfully, however painful that data may be,” Quimbo said.

“Kung di natin nagamit ang unang lockdown na matigil ang pagkalat ng virus, this timeout is our second chance. Let’s use this wisely,” she said.