DILG Sec. Año: ECQ extension is based on health experts

Published April 7, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Chito Chavez

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Tuesday asserted that the extension of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) until April 30, 2020 “is an inevitable course of action in the effort of the national government to contain COVID-19 (2019 novel coronavirus disease).”

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año (Photo from Philippine Information Agency / MANILA BULLETIN)
DILG Secretary Eduardo Año (Photo from Philippine Information Agency / MANILA BULLETIN)

DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año explained that the President’s decision to extend the ECQ is grounded on the advice of health experts from the Department of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO). He noted that to rush the easing of the ECQ in a time when the coronavirus cases are fluctuating is a gamble that the government is not willing to take.

“We all want everything to go back to normal yet we cannot risk further transmissions or a relapse. This extension is part of the effort of the national government to flatten the curve of COVID-19 transmissions in the country kaya buo ang pagsuporta ng DILG sa hakbang na ito ng ating Pangulo (that is why the DILG fully supports the President’s decision),” Año said.
Año said that the models from both the government and the private sector show that an extension of two weeks would ‘flatten the curve’ and ensure that the coronavirus pandemic is contained and manageable by our health care system.

With the extension of the ECQ, Año assured “that the national government and the DILG are working long hours to ensure that all mechanisms are in place and that protocols are being implemented and followed to prevent further spread of the coronavirus.”

As we move to the last few weeks of the quarantine, Año has sought the cooperation of the local government units (LGUs) in carrying out the directives of the national government. He added that the DILG expects the adherence of the LGUs while encouraging them to be creative in addressing specific concerns of their constituents.

“The DILG will maintain an open communication line with the LGUs to ensure that we are all on the same page in fighting this virus. We will coordinate with the local government officials to guarantee adherence to IATF protocols,” he added.

Año also reminded the LGUs to continue the strict implementation of existing measures such as the practice of physical distancing, wearing of face masks in public places like markets, banks, and other facilities that remain open during the ECQ, and ensuring that people stay at home, among others, as these will be vital in the fight against coronavirus.
In dealing with the extended quarantine, Año also prodded the LGUs to make certain that assistance to the poor families are properly distributed and that food, medical, and other supplies are not derailed or hampered in the next weeks leading to April 30.

The DILG chief also reminded the local governments to ensure that community quarantine facilities such as public schools, stadiums, and other public facilities are secured and effectively sanitized during and after use.