Nograles: ECQ always an option vs COVID-19 pandemic

Published April 19, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Argyll Geducos

As the government determines the fate of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) which is nearing conclusion, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the ECQ can always be brought back if the number of coronavirus diseases (COVID-19) cases in the country resurge.

Nograles issued the statement as the government deliberates whether to lift, extend, or modify the ECQ before it lapses on April 30.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles (Photo from Karlo Nograles  / Facebook page / MANILA BULLETIN)
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles (Photo from Karlo Nograles / Facebook page / MANILA BULLETIN)

In a radio interview, Nograles said while the ECQ may be lifted or modified, the government can always bring it back if there would be a resurgence in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country.

“If ever anuman ang maging decision natin, may caveat ito. ‘Pag sumipa uli yung numero, ‘pag nakita natin na medyo tumaas uli (Whatever our decision may be, there’s a caveat. If the number rises again), we have to be prepared,” he told Super Radyo DZBB on Sunday.

“Kailangan magdesisyon na mabilis ang pamahalaan. Na kailangan mag-istrikto uli, mag-enhanced community quarantine uli (The government needs to act fast. We have to be strict again, impose the ECQ again), either as a whole or in particular localities,” he added.


Meanwhile, Nograles said while the government cannot just lift the ECQ as advised by the World Health Organization (WHO), it can consider doing the lifting in phases or target which sectors could start operating again.

“Piliin natin kung ano yung mga pwede magbukas at yung workforce na pwede nating payagan na magtrabaho, ano yung mass transport systems na papayagan natin (We should choose which businesses can open again, who are allowed to work, and what public transportation to bring back),” he said.

“Kung papayag si Pangulong Duterte may bagong do’s and don’ts na naman tayo (If the President will allow it, we will have new guidelines),” he added.

The Palace official, however, reminded the public to continue practicing protective measures to avoid getting infected by COVID-19.

“Kailangan constant pa rin yung physical and social distancing, paghugas ng kamay, disinfection, tapos yung wearing of a mask (We should maintain physical distancing, proper handwashing, disinfection, and the wearing of mask),” Nograles said.

“Kung sino yung pwede magpatuloy sa work from home, patuloy pa rin sa work from home, ‘di ba (Whoever can work from home should continue doing so, right)?” he added.