Palace ensures unhampered vaccination in ECQ zones

The inoculation of Filipinos against COVID-19 will remain unhampered in areas placed under the most stringent enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), Malacañang said on Friday.

In a press statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the government’s mass immunization drive must continue despite the ECQ to prevent the further transmission of a more contagious Delta COVID-19 variant.

“With the looming threat of the Delta variant, there is no question that vaccination even in areas under enhanced community quarantine classification is an imperative solution,” Roque said.

Iloilo province and its highly-urbanized city, and the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Gingoog, are currently under ECQ.

The four areas will stay under ECQ until August 7.

On the other hand, ECQ will be imposed in Metro Manila from August 6 to 20.

Citing the omnibus guidelines of ECQ in the country, Roque said gatherings that are “essential for the provision of health services” are allowed.

Roque said vaccinating people is crucial to “build a wall of defense” against the Delta variant and achieve population protection.

“Vaccinating individuals in this trying time is an essential health activity. Our mass vaccination program will therefore continue and intensify for the first and second dose, notwithstanding next week’s ECQ classification of Metro Manila and other areas,” he said.

Roque, however, reminded the public to heed President Rodrigo Duterte’s repeated appeals for them to observe health protocols, especially when they are commuting or in vaccination sites.

“The public has to cooperate to ensure the health and safety of everyone – vaccinators and vaccinees alike. To reiterate what the President said, no one is safe until everyone is safe,” he said

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