PH will be 'the next India' without NCR lockdown, says Galvez

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 5) — The Philippines could suffer the worst surge in coronavirus infections being experienced in India without the implementation of enhanced community quarantine in the National Capital Region, COVID-19 National Task Force Chief Implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. told lawmakers.

Galvez on Wednesday stressed that the outbreaks in India and Indonesia show what could happen in the Philippines if the spread of the feared Delta variant is not slowed down. If the country would experience a worst surge in COVID-19 cases, it would be impossible for the local economy to recover by the end of the year.

"Ang nakita natin dito is, if we will not declare ECQ sa NCR, we will be the next India," Galvez told the House of Representatives Committee on Health.

[Translation: What we see is, if we will not declare ECQ in NCR, we will be the next India]

He also said the implementation of ECQ in Metro Manila is painful but it is necessary to control the spread of infection driven by the more transmissible Delta variant of the coronavirus.

Latest government data shows that the total COVID-19 cases in the country reached 1,619,824, with 63,171 active cases. The NCR will be under ECQ for two weeks starting August 6.

READ: LIST: Prohibited activities, other restrictions in Metro Manila under ECQ

However, the implementation of ECQ also poses threat to the economic recovery of the country. Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Chua said the Philippines stands to bleed ₱105 billion, with almost half a million Filipinos losing their jobs for each week the NCR is under ECQ.

CNN Philippines correspondent Xianne Arcangel contributed to this report.