PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte warned Tuesday, May 18, of a “stricter lockdown” should there be an upsurge of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) variant cases in the country.
"Ang pag-asa natin is really the obedience, parang (like a) Boy Scout. You want to end the danger of Covid-19 engulfing this country...Kapag hindi, napipilitan talaga ako na (if not I will really be forced) to impose lockdowns and everything," he said in a public address aired Tuesday.
"Under other circumstances, sabihin ko ayaw ko. But these things are for your own good and if you, hindi n'yo sumusunod and may resurgence naman 'tas the new variants, mapipilitan talaga akong mag-impose ng lockdown, maybe stricter this time because hindi natin alam anong variant 'yan," he added.
The Department of Health (DOH) earlier recorded 30 cases found to be carrying variants of concern (VOC), which include the B.1.1.7 that was first detected in the United Kingdom, B.1.351 that first emerged in South Africa and the most recent, B.1.617.2, that is now wreaking havoc in India.
Studies showed that the Indian Covid-19 variant carries mutations that allow it to get past the immune system and become more transmittable.
The DOH said 12 individuals in the country were found to be carrying the Indian variant, and four of them have been admitted in hospitals. Of the four, one has been intubated.
In April this year, Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna and Cavite were placed on lockdown anew due to the spike in Covid-19 cases particularly in the National Capital Region. Hospitals have reached full capacity due to the spike in cases.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said recently though that the NCR is now at moderate risk for Covid-19 transmission.
“Nananatiling moderate risk naman ang NCR kung saan -46 percent from -39 percent ang two-week growth rate (from May 2 to 15),” Duque said. “Ibig sabihin bumabagal na po ang pagdagdag o paglaki ng kaso.”
From April 4 to 17, during the height of transmission, the growth rate hit -5 percent.
Duque said the two-week nationwide growth rate was at -24 percent from May 2 to 15.
This, he said, is relatively lower than the 11 percent two-week growth rate recorded from April 4-17.
He said the nationwide average daily attack rate (Adar) went down to 5.95 per 100,000 people from May 2 to 15 from 9.2 per 100,000 persons last April 4 to 17.
In NCR, the Adar slid to 13.44 per 100,000 population from May 2 to 15 from 34 cases per 100,000 population last April 4 to 17.
As of May 17, there were a total of 54,235 active Covid-19 cases in the country.
A total of 1,149,925 individuals have tested positive for the virus, while 19,262 have died and 1,076,428 have recovered. (SunStar Philippines)