Lorenzana: LGUs can count on more troops to ‘strictly implement’ health protocols

LOCAL government units (LGUs) have requested for additional military and police personnel to strictly enforce minimum health protocols amid the dramatic increase of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Thursday.

As chairman of the National Task Force against Covid-19, Lorenzana wants to bring back the “strict implementation” of the government’s health protocols, as he attributed the 1,000 cases recorded in the past month to people relaxing their guard against the virus.

At the same time, Lorenzana also expressed concern over the new virus variants from the United Kingdom, Brazil and South Africa that were more infectious although “not necessarily more deadly”.

“So, let’s bring back what we have done before, wear masks, wash hands, keep distance. That is why the LGUs have been requesting more troops to implement [the health protocols] in public places,” Lorenzana said during the Laging Handa public briefing on Thursday.

He pointed out that the government, particularly the Defense department, has not revoked its order to deploy troops in public places should local officials request for augmentation.

“It’s still in effect and so the LGUs can request the military and even the police to implement [health protocols],” he added.

Metro Manila cities have been enforcing granular lockdowns in several barangay (villages) that have recorded a surge in Covid-19 cases.

Lorenzana said the military and police would concentrate in these areas.