By Chito Chavez
Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año stressed that all sectors should make supreme sacrifices in the midst of the health crisis fearing the number of 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-2019) cases could reach 75,000 in five months if drastic actions are not taken.
Citing the World Health Organization (WHO) report, Año said a COVID-19 infected individual can potentially infect around 100 people if not immediately isolated.
Año issued the explanation as thousands have complained of the inconvenience being experienced with the community quarantine being implemented in Metro Manila.
Also, Lt. General Guillermo Eleazar PNP Deputy Director for Operations allayed public fears that the present set-up on community quarantine could lead to human rights abuses.
He noted that the police officers manning the checkpoints should instead be commended instead of being chided as they risk their lives in performing their duties.
The PNP officer also noted that claims of some government critics that the checkpoints can lead to a permanent imposition of the curfew hours are unfounded and without basis.
Stressing his point further, Año citing the case of Italy which is now in a nationwide lockdown said initially it had small incidence of COVID-19 cases but the number of cases grew in a short span that instilled public fear.
With the increasing number of people getting infected with the virus each day in Metro Manila, Año said the government was left with no other option but to impose community quarantine as there is no denying that the area is already contaminated with the disease.
In the midst of the health crisis, Año appealed to Metro Manila residents to heed authorities in the implementation of the 30-day community quarantine.
With Metro Manila placed under a month-long quarantine until April 14, Año noted at least 79 checkpoints have been placed at borders connecting the metropolis to the provinces of Laguna, Rizal, Cavite and Bulacan.
Reiterating his call, Año pleaded to the public who have no urgent matters to attend to just stay in their homes while the community quarantine is in place.
If the situation worsens, Año said there is a possibility that a total lockdown of Metro Manila will be imposed similar to Italy, where residents are confined in their homes.
The DILG chief noted the government has also prohibited any form of mass gatherings to prevent the virus from spreading which include suspending religious mass activities, concerts, fiesta, birthday celebrations, and other similar activities.
READ MORE: Metro Manila under 30-day lockdown