Extended or modified quarantine possible after April 30 — Malacanang spokesman

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Roque

There is a possibility that government will order an extended or modified enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said on Saturday.

Roque, however, said  either scenario could wait until after the April 30 announcement, the supposedly last day of the ECQ.

Roque said the suggestions came out after Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion, and Finance Secretary Sonny Dominguez made their reports.

“Tingin ko, malinaw na hindi pa puwedeng mawala ang quarantine. Ang posibilidad ay magpatuloy ang ECQ as is, o di naman kaya magkaroon ng modified (one),” Roque said.

“At ilan sa mga proposals na narinig ko doon sa huling pagpupulong noong araw ng Tuesday ay ‘yung modification base sa geographical location, modification base sa comorbidity, at modification base sa industriya,” he added.

President Rodrigo Duterte said on Thursday that “killer antibodies” allegedly capable of curing the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) will be rolled out in a few days.

Also, the President claimed that pharmaceutical giants have developed an antibody treatment for COVID-19 that is set to roll out in May, and he vowed to lift the Luzon-wide quarantine once the medicines are delivered to the Philippines.

“Kung ang iniisip niyo ay pagnanais, well tingin ko po lahat naman tayo nagnanais na matapos na ito. Pero ang tanong is, ano ang katumbas, ano ang kapalit ng pagli-lift ng ECQ? Gaano karami sa atin ang mamamatay? ‘Yun po ang napakahirap na desisyon ng presidente, kung meron ba talagang katumbas ang buhay ng isang Pilipino doon sa pagli-lift ng ECQ para mapagpatuloy po ang hanapbuhay natin,” Roque said.

Roque also reiterated President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to keep Health Secretary Francisco Duque III in his post, despite calls from senators for him to resign.

“Sabihin na lang po natin na nasa gitna po tayo ng krisis at ang nangunguna ng bayan natin at kasama ang presidente ay ang Department of Health. Kahit ano pa pong sabihin natin ngayon ay nasa kalagitnaan na tayo ng giyera, mahirap pong magpalit ng heneral sa kalagitnaan ng giyera,” Roque pointed out.

But he said the DOH needs to step up, particularly in the conducting of the mass testing.

“Sa ngayon po ang problema ay ‘yung desisyon na gagawin ni presidente talaga ay dapat nakabase sa siyensiya, dapat nakabase sa datos. Kinakailangan po nating paigtingin ang ating mass testing, sana malaman po natin kung nasaan na ba talaga tayo dito sa ating giyera laban sa sakit na ito,” Roque said.

“Siguro po ‘yan ‘yung isa sa mga pinakaimportante na dapat na bigyan ng pansin ng ating buong departamento ng health, ‘yung mass testing na nasimulan na po, dapat po ‘yan mapatuloy na at nang malaman natin kung ilang porsyento talaga, kung talagang we have flattened the curve at saka pangalawa siyempre, ‘yung kakayahan ng ating buong health industry na magbigay ng serbisyo kung lalo pang dadami ang mga nagkakasakit,” Roque added.

In the Philippines, the Department of Health (DOH)  reported in their COVID-19 updates, as of April 18,  6,087 are now positive, with  397 deaths.  Some 516 were also reported as recoveries./Stacy Ang

 

 

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