THE Metro Manila Council has passed a resolution re-imposing longer curfew hours, from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m., in the National Capital Region (NCR) starting Sunday after it was placed under general community quarantine with heightened restrictions anew.
The curfew hours are being adjusted from the previous 12 midnight to 4 a.m.
Under Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Resolution No. 21-13, the 17 Metro Manila mayors have agreed to adjust the curfew hours because of the increase in the number of COVID 19 cases and to control further transmission of the Delta variant.
The COVID-19 Delta variant is highly contagious with an R naught (R0), a measure of contagion or reproduction rate, of 5 to 8 “that may potentially trigger an exponential surge and local transmission in densely populated areas like the NCR,” MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos said.
“We need to limit the movement of the public through the imposition of longer curfew hours. Since the Delta variant spreads exponentially, we should not let our guards down and implement necessary restrictions to contain the virus,” he added.
“While the Metro Manila Council recognizes the imperative to gradually and cautiously open the economy in order to increase business activities, reduce unemployment and underemployment, and promote economic growth, it is equally mindful of the paramount interests of life and health and the strict implementation of the prevent, detect, isolate, treat, and reintegrate strategies,” the resolution stated.
In its latest advisory on Saturday, the Department of Health (DOH) has recorded additional 17 new cases of the Delta variant, with the total climbing to 64. Out of the new cases, 12 are local cases and nine of them had an indicated address in NCR.
The DOH also declared an increase of COVID-19 infections in NCR in terms of growth rate, average daily attack rate, health care utilization rate, and intensive care utilization rate.
Meanwhile, all police units on Saturday were ordered by Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar to ensure that children will not go out on the streets or in public areas after the national government prohibited kids from going outdoors anew in the wake of fresh COVID-19 transmissions.
Children aged 5 and above were again prohibited from going out after the DOH confirmed local transmission of the COVID-19 Delta variant in the country.
“On behalf of the men and women of the Philippine National Police, ako ay humihingi ng pang-unawa sa ating mga kababayan sa pagbawi ng alituntunin tungkol sa paglabas ng mga bata edad lima pataas bilang parte ng layunin ng pamhalaan na pigilan ang pagkalat ng mas nakakahawang Delta variant ng COVID-19,” said Eleazar.
“Bilang mga magulang, alam ko na batid ninyo ang kasabihang mas gugustuhin pa natin na tayo ang magkasakit kesa sa ating mga anak. Pero sa panig ng inyong PNP, ginagawa naming ang lahat upang tayong lahat ay maging ligtas sa mas mapanganib na variant na ito,” he added.
Eleazar said he expects all chiefs of police to initiate measures to ensure the implementation of the safety protocols to protect civilians in their respective areas of responsibilities.
The top cop also appealed to the parents to watch their children and to not let them go outdoors so that the COVID-19 Delta variant transmission and infection would be prevented.
“Nakikiusap tayo sa mga magulang na bantayan ang kanilang mga anak at huwag hayaang lumabas ng bahay dahil mas delikado ang COVID-19 Delta variant na ating binabantayan sa ngayon. Mas delikado ito dahil mas mabilis itong makahawa at ang mga bata ay maaaring magsilbing super spreaders kapag sila ay na-expose sa coronavirus,” he said.
“Tayong mga magulang ang may responsibilidad para sa kaligtasan ng ating mga anak kaya’t sana’y sundin natin ang mga panuntunan na nagbabawal sa kanilang lumabas ng bahay,” he added. By EDD REYES & ALFRED DALIZON