Health and economic roadmap for lifting of lockdown needed



Even as there is a lockdown extension, the Duterte government should be outlining the plan on how to end the lockdown through proper health measures that will combat the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID19), the militant group Bayan said on Tuesday.

Bayan said the Duterte government should tell the public how they will move from a state of enhanced community quarantine to a state where economic activity can resume for the people, under conditions of a pandemic.

“How will we transition to the new normal so to speak? We are not downplaying the seriousness of the pandemic, but neither should we simply aspire for an open-ended and prolonged lockdown with no clear end goal,” Bayan said in a statement.

The government should present its plans on:

  1. How will it increase the capacity of the entire health care system to deal with the rising cases of COVID19 infections, and the targets it needs to achieve to do such.
  2. How will mass testing, contact tracing and isolation lead to the easing of restrictions in some areas that do not have or have very low incidence of COVID 19, so that economic activity can resume for the people.
  3. A timeline for the gradual or calibrated lifting of the enhanced community quarantine, duly considering the number of new cases and the increased capacity of the health care system.
  4. How state support for economically displaced people will continue even after the lockdown along with efforts to revive the economy and provide livelihood for the people.

Support and reforms in other services like housing, education and mass transportation should be considered to prevent a resurgence in the number of COVID19 cases, Bayan said.

Bayan said the people want to know the comprehensive plans that are being taken to effectively fight COVID19 en route to lifting the lockdown.

Absent a set of goals on lifting or easing the lockdown, it would appear that what the government is preparing for is another lockdown extension, they said.

“The thrust of the government now should be the immediate implementation of necessary health measures to address the COVID19 crisis, to enable the lifting of the lockdown at the soonest possible time,” Bayan said./Stacy Ang

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