President Rodrigo Roa Duterte will consult with experts on the best way to slowly revive the slagging economy while trying to contain the novel corona virus contagion. The Inter Agency Task Force (IATF) has not given any hint whether to lift the enhanced quarantine or not. Many sectors had already expressed their views on the matter, with most recommending selective quarantine. Presidential adviser on Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion III had recommended before Duterte the possibility of a barangay-level quarantine if infestation rate had been high on those areas.
While in Western countries, May seems to be the right time for them to lift their quarantines, it is not so for the Philippines. For one, the first rains of the year occurs in May and sustains itself until September. We all are aware what happens during this period— there are spikes in terms of dengue and flu incidence during to the monsoon season.
So whether there is a quarantine or not or even if Duterte locks down the entire country for the rest of the monsoon season, it will not be an effective measure against COVID-19 spread. Expect our hospital system to reach its strain levels once the monsoon season comes–because many would be lining up in hospitals to report themselves as having symptoms similar to the novel corona virus.
To avoid this, it is time for government to teach the people how to cure themselves when they develop symptoms of the disease. China, for example, had recommended traditional Chinese medicine coupled with Western drugs for their people.
We should not just enact physical distancing measures— we should announce a general protocol for all local government units like daily disinfecting of streets and probably providing service frontliners something like a virucidal clothing that should protect them or at least lower the incidence of getting the disease while not limiting human movement.
The second or third waves as what Duterte described, are bound to happen because of the novel corona virus thrives in cold temperatures. We are entering into that season.