Philippines Report

No alternative but to reopen economy amid spike in new COVID-19 cases — Palace

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While saddened by the spike of new coronavirus cases recorded, Malacañang said the government has no alternative but to reopen the economy.

The Philippines recorded 2,434 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, raising the total number of cases nationwide to 44,254.

“Marami po ang kinabahan sa ulat na ito, maging kami ay nalungkot noong una naming narinig ito (Many got nervous upon hearing this, and we were also saddened by it),” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Monday in an online briefing.

“Ang tingin ko po, wala naman tayong alternatibo kundi magbukas po talaga ng ekonomiya… Kung hindi pa po natin mabubuksan, e baka mamaya buhay nga tayo pero mamamatay tayo dahil wala tayong hanapbuhay,” he added.

(I think we don’t have an alternative but to really open the economy. If we do not reopen, we may be alive but we will die because we do not have livelihoods.)

Most areas in the country are either under general community quarantine (GCQ) or modified GCQ where most businesses are allowed to resume operations at a limited capacity.

The lone area under the strictest lockdown measure or enhanced community quarantine is Cebu City.

Roque said the government is looking at the balance between health and economy, noting that most of the new cases are mild.

“Habang tumataas ang numero, tignan po natin ang mga datos. Ang mabuting balita po, kung matatawag ninyong mabuti yan, karamihan po ay asymptomatic o di naman kaya mild yung kaso ng nagkakasakit,” he said.

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