NEDA chief pushes localized lockdowns

National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) chief Karl Chua stressed the need to address the rising number of Covid-19 cases but steps taken should not compromise the employment of the majority of Filipinos.

“We need to continue managing risks as Covid cases rise. We do this by focusing on localized quarantines and addressing the sources of highest risk, so that the jobs/livelihood of the far majority will not be affected,” Chua told reporters in a Viber message on Sunday.

“When we opened the economy last Oct 12, 2020, cases did not spike. Nor did cases spike during the year-end holidays and the first two months of 2021. It was even on a generally downward trend. This was due to strict compliance with health standards and a gradual and careful approach to reopening,” he added.

The number of infection had spiked in the past days.

On Saturday, the Philippines logged 7,999 cases, the highest since the imposition of quarantine measures in mid-March last year.