Duterte to meet health experts to consult decision on whether to extend or modify enhanced community quarantine

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Senator Bong Go on Sunday said President Rodrigo Duterte will meet with health experts, including former Department of Health  (DOH) secretaries,  before coming out with a decision on whether to extend or modify the prevailing enhanced community quarantine (EQC) after April 30.

Speaking in an interview over Dobol B sa News TV, Go said Duterte will meet with the health experts on April 20, Monday, to get their views on the current situation, since “the President has been balancing everything.”

“They will assess the current situation and determine the next course of action,” said Go, member of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee overseeing the implementation of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.

Earlier,  Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said Duterte wants to listen to expert opinions on whether to lift or extend Luzon-wide quarantine.

Go said the coming days will be very critical for Duterte because he will make a decision on this very crucial matter— the ECQ.

“And I think the President will decide this week whether to extend or ease ECQ,” said Go, former aide of Duterte.

He believes that the implementation of ECQ should be stricter in the next 11 days until April 30.

The government, Go said, wants to ensure that no lives will be lost due to COVID-19, that  people will have food to eat, that the economy will not suffer and that medicine will be available to the public.

“Filipinos are desperate nowadays. They are very desperate. We are waiting for a vaccine which arrival may still be next year. That’s still long,” said Go.

Go said Duterte had mentioned about the arrival of antibodies that maybe used to fight the new coronavirus.

“Sana ay lumabas na dahil ito na lang ang hinahantay natin. Ang Pilipino naman, matatapang tayo, kaya lang kapag wala tayong gamot, mahirap nang magkahawaan,” he added.

Go, also the Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, said that he continues to monitor the situation of many Filipinos affected by the ECQ in Luzon as well as in many parts of the country.

As legislators, he said that the Senate is also focused on overseeing the implementation of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, especially the Social Amelioration Program targeting the poorest of the poor and other vulnerable sectors.

Go then reiterated his appeal to the Filipino people to cooperate with authorities implementing the quarantine protocols.

While the government continues to address the further spread of COVID-19 and mitigate the adverse socio-economic impacts of the outbreak, Go believes that the people also have to do their share in this fight to defeat the virus./Stacy Ang

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