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San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora

San Juan mayor wants Alert level 4 extended in NCR 

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San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora said the Alert Level 4 quarantine status in the National Capital Region (NCR) should be extended despite the declining number of COVID-19 cases. The General Community Quarantine (GCQ) Alert Level 4 in Metro Manila is due to end on Thursday, Sept. 30, according to a report by Manila Bulletin.

“I would rather keep us at Alert level 4 just for a little more time. Yes, the cases are going down. In fact, here in San Juan, last September 16 we were at 1,123 active cases and just yesterday, we’re already down to 625. So that is a huge decline in almost just two weeks,” Zamora said in an interview with CNN Philippines.

“For me, it’s not the time yet to be complacent. So I would rather that we probably extend Alert level 4 for at least two weeks and then observe once again the number we have and to base it on data. We have to see if indeed the alert levels are working. If you’re going to ask me, yes, GCQ Alert level 4 worked for us in San Juan,” he added.

The mayor said that the quarantine status has allowed a lot of businesses to reopen to help boost the economy especially during the 4th quarter of the year.

Zamora has been going around the city everyday to check the compliance of business establishments with the minimum health and safety protocols under Alert level 4.

Meanwhile, Zamora said that the San Juan Medical Center (SJMC) is now at 69 percent bed occupancy, which is still manageable. However, Cardinal Santos Medical Center continues to be full. Zamora clarified that most of its COVID-19 patients are not residents of San Juan.

On August 17, the Metro Manila mayors aired their concern regarding the COVID-19 risk categories of local government units (LGUs).

“Marami sa mga mayors ang umaalma at isa na din ako dun sapagkat halimbawa, may mga tertiary hospitals, halimbawa ang Cardinal Santos Medical Center, sa ibang mga lungsod may mga malalaking ospital din, hindi naman lahat po ng COVID patients ay taga San Juan ngunit ang datos ay napupunta sa amin. Nagiging mataas ang alert level namin ngunit yung mga pasyente na ito ay hindi naman lahat taga sa amin, maaring taga probinsya na pumunta po rito sa Manila upang magpa-ospital. So it does not give a clear perspective dahil hindi naman namin pasyente po yun (Most mayors aired their concern (on the risk categories for LGUs), including myself. For example, in a lot of tertiary hospitals in Metro Manila such as the Cardinal Santos Medical Center, not all COVID patients are from San Juan, but the data are being placed on us. Hence, our alert level is elevated but not all patients are our residents. Some of them may be from other provinces who went to Manila to be hospitalized. So it does not give a clear perspective because not all patients are from San Juan),” Zamora said.

“Napupunta po sa amin ang alert level, nagmumukha kaming mataas ang alert level but in reality, they are not from our cities (Our alert level is high but in reality, they are not from our cities),” he added.


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