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  • Writer's pictureMelo Acuna

With 10,623 new COVID-19 cases, National Government begins ECQ for NCR-Plus

As NCR-Plus enters another lockdown

Traffic’s light as more people remained home

MANILA – Metro Manila woke up to a quieter day as the national government placed the national capital region under its enhanced community quarantine which meant only essential persons will be allowed to travel within the bubble.

Police officials have been visible along major roads where heavy traffic has remained a regular far. Public and private vehicles traversed densely populated region, but motorcycling-riding delivery personnel have increased in numbers.

In front of the Quirino Grandstand at the Rizal Park, Manila City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management personnel continued vaccinating at least 400 persons aboard a hundred or so vehicles at their drive-through facility.

Dave Christopher P. Santos, an essential personnel of Manila’s Code COVID-19 (Contain and Hold), said their operations begin at 7:00 A.M. and ends after 12 hours rain or shine.

“Motorists are subjected to pre-screening at Stage I, to check their documents for their appointments. At Stage II, we ask them of their comorbidities, and the vaccination proper at Stage III and vaccinees are made to stay at the holding area for at least 15 minutes at the Stage IV,” Santos said.

The facility also offers free PR-PCR tests provided prior appointments have been made.

A Syrian national, Mohammad Kassab, was one of those inoculated at the drive-thru facility with his compatriot and their wives. Kassad has been a Philippine resident for the past nine years and runs a restaurant in the metropolis.

The drive-thru facility began their service last Saturday, July 31st and will go on until the lockdown ends.

J. A. Saguindan, a supervisor at the facility said they have encountered noteworthy experiences like dealing with people who drop names of influential people just to get ahead of the vaccination even without the required appointment. A car suffered a flat tire while waiting for at the Stage II. He and his staff have weathered extreme heat and thunderstorms.

“Despite all these experiences, it is worthwhile to serve people in need of vaccination. Saguindan added.

Across their facility is the recently inaugurated Manila COVID-19 Field Hospital managed by the Manila Health Office.

Meanwhile, at a small restaurant in Earnshaw, Sampaloc, Manila, Samuel Panuelos tends to cooked food for take-out as the ECQ declaration prohibits dine-in and even at al fresco.

“Business has been hard these days. We couldn’t even recover our expenses for food preparation,” he said in an interview.

Asked if he has received vaccines, Panuelos said he doesn’t want to be vaccinated.

“I am feeling well and I may even get sick if I get myself vaccinated,” he said. When asked if he’s aware of the Delta variant, Samuel said he’s unaware and wouldn’t change his decision to shun the vaccine offered by the government.

Over at España Boulevard, policemen routinely check on motorcycle riders through their established and marked checkpoint.

Almost all the motorists in España are authorized persons outside residence employed with different private and government offices. No heavy traffic took place in western Metro Manila area during the first day of the ECQ. The lockdown will last until Friday, August 20.

However, the Department of Health today reported 10,623 new COVID-19 cases, 3,127 new recoveries and 247 fatalities. (Melo M. Acuña)

Photos taken all over Manila during the first day of the two-week Enhanced Community Quarantine. Manila begins their drive-through vaccination. (Melo M. Acuna photos)

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