By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said he is waiting to hear from doctors and scientists to air their opinions about easing the Luzon-wide lockdown for businesses after April 30.
Health experts and scientists should have a say on whether or not the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) should be calibrated to allow the opening of shopping malls, among others, amid the coronavirus outbreak.
“[I] Am waiting to hear from our health experts/scientist[s]. The worst is to open up then to close again,” Recto said in a text message on Thursday.
“My understanding is that we open up when our health response/infrastructure is capable and that infections are controllable,” he pointed out.
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said he favors a partial opening of malls and other businesses after April 30 but said safeguards should be in place to prevent the spread of the COVID-19.
Government economic officials and business groups have been calling for a modified quarantine as an alternative to the ECQ, which affected the country’s economic activity.
Lawmakers, on the other hand, maintained that mass testing should be conducted to make sure that the pandemic is contained before deciding to relax the quarantine measures.
“Mass testing and isolation/quarantine to reduce infections. Thereafter, mass treatment. Only then can you relax [the] ECQ,” Recto earlier said.
“Let’s listen to the scientist[s] and find out when will be our apex. [The] Government should act faster. No time to waste. Get ahead of the virus,” he added.