With the continuing spike in the number of positive cases for the COVID-19, Senator Joel Villanueva favors the government’s plan to enforce forced quarantine for Persons Under Investigations (PUIs) and even Persons Under Monitoring (PUMs).
Even with the current Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine for almost three weeks, records from the Department of Health (DOH) still showed new positive cases for the virus.
Presidential Peace Advisor Carlito Galvez Jr., chief implementor of the National Action Plan (NAP) against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), admitted the current home quarantine being practiced is not effective to control the spread of the virus, especially in poor communities.
Villanueva noted it is good to have specific isolation facilities in every area because not all households have separate rooms to quarantine an infected family member.
The DOH and the World Health Organization (WHO) have been calling for social distancing as one of the stringent measures to contain the transmission of the virus.
Villanueva also pointed out that food security for every family should complement the proposed isolation plan.
He said people continue to go out to access food and other necessities.
“If we can make it convenient for people to access these basic necessities, then we won’t have problems with people going out,” he said.
“Our government,” the senator said, “should continue its consultations with supply chain experts to help us decide on how to relax the existing quarantine.”
Furthermore, he said the incidence of infection is still increasing, and we don’t even know the extent of spread because we don’t do strategic mass testing.
“Before we proceed with selective lockdown, we must do strategic mass testing, consult supply chain experts. We should relax the lockdown policy only to ensure that we address the needs for food and essential goods, while majority will still be on quarantine,” he said.
Also, by relaxing lockdown on essential services, the senator said we are able to sustain the employment and source of livelihood of workers.
“We just have to make sure that they are also protected. Workers of essential services, including those involved in manufacturing and delivery of basic goods, should undergo regular testing,” he added./Stacy Ang