President Rodrigo Duterte is now studying his options whether to lift or extend the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said on Monday.
“The President is seriously evaluating the inputs and suggestions given by various sectors of society for either the extension or the lifting of the enhanced community quarantine or lockdown and will take the best option that will purge us of this pandemic disease,” Panelo said.
“He will announce his decision very soon,” said Panelo.
The quarantine, or “lockdown” as described by Duterte, will end on midnight of April 13, 2020.
Vice President Leni Robredo and some lawmakers have called for an extension of the enhanced community quarantine to slow down the spread of the deadly coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has set five parameters on whether to recommend the total or partial lifting, or the possible extension of the quarantine to the President.
The factors are as follows:
Trends in the COVID-19 epidemiological curve, which include, among others, the doubling time, acceleration, or deceleration of new cases;
- Capacity of the health care system, which includes, among others, the number and availability of quarantine, isolation, and treatment facilities; the capability to mount contact tracing; availability of personal protective equipment (PPEs) to frontliners, and the testing capacity of the country;
- Social factors;
- Economic factors; and
- Security factors.
Panelo said the President has asked the public to follow the protocols and procedures established by the national government “to ensure the success of our fight against the pandemic.”
“They were placed there for the protection and survival of everyone. Any transgressor will be dealt with in accordance with law,” he said.
The Department of Health (DOH) said as of April 6, the Philippines has so far recorded 3,660 COVID-19 positive cases, 163 deaths and 73 recoveries./Stacy Ang