Preventing the ‘pandemic of the unvaccinated’
PRESIDENTIAL Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo Founder Joey Concepcion is pleased that the government has considered placing NCR under a lockdown in the next 2 weeks from August 6 until August 20, 2021, following the call from the business sector and OCTA research that this ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown is the key to contain the spread of the Delta variant.
“I am glad that the DOH has supported this. I am also happy that Secretary Francisco Duque III and the members of the IATF-EID have made the right decision, supporting also the Metro Manila mayors’ proposal,” Concepcion added.
While more and more cases have been reported recently, Concepcion reiterated that this is now a race between the Delta variant, the government and the private sector's inoculation.
“The Delta virus is here, and we must prepare now. It’s become a tight and dangerous race between Delta and the government and private sector efforts to vaccinate the unvaccinated,” Concepcion said.
Concepcion also bats for the right mechanism to prevent the rapid transmission of the Delta variant. “We need to slow down the acceleration of the Delta infections to buy us more time to inoculate the unprotected. This also allows us to save the lives of the unvaccinated people, who are the most vulnerable during this time,” he added. Being the adviser for entrepreneurship, Concepcion explained his motivation to help the country’s MSMES especially at this time of nationwide crisis. “My role as an adviser to the president is to help our MSMES survive this pandemic. I have earlier recommended that the earlier we do this [lockdown], the shorter it is,” Concepcion affirmed.
Recently, Concepcion expressed his support to the implementation of a twoweek lockdown at this point, instead of the subsequent reimposition of a stricter quarantine sometime in 4th quarter, as it will be counterintuitive to the goal of better economic recovery in the last few months of the year. “We prefer that we solve the problem early and not wait for the problem to get bigger, because then we will have a lockdown for months. That is the most catastrophic thing in our country if that happens in the 4th quarter,” Concepcion said.
According to Concepcion, it is only through vaccination efforts can the entire country, especially the severely-affected NCR Plus, build the much needed “wall of defense” against the virus, particularly the Delta variant. “We must prepare now and build our wall of defense by striving for herd immunity. If we do it now, we can save more lives and livelihoods,” he added.“while we are pushing for this lockdown, we hope that we also consider giving greater mobility for the fullyvaccinated individuals,” Concepcion shared.
This supports his recent proposal to effectuate restrictions to those who are not yet vaccinated, not only to protect them but also others.“even during this expected lockdown, part of our request is for us to continue effective strategies to fight COVID-19: aggressive testing to detect who among us contracted COVID-19, intensive contact tracing to avert any possible infections from those already positive, and finally, the private sector’s vaccination program to fully immunize the Filipinos from severely getting affected by the virus. Of course, this is on top of allowing the unhampered mobility of the vaccinated people,” he added.
Meanwhile, IATF-EID Deputy Chief Implementer Secretary Vince Dizon has requested the private sector to accelerate its vaccination efforts to hopefully finish them in NCR Plus by August 15. “We would like to save the lives especially of those who have not taken the vaccines. After all, we don't want to make this the pandemic of the unvaccinated,” Concepcion concluded. This is in line with his proposal, along with various measures, for us to hasten the country’s attainment of herd immunity while eyeing for a merry Christmas and a better new year.