By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases is yet to come up with a final recommendation whether to lift, extend, or modify the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
Nograles made the statement 10 days before the ECQ imposed to contain the COVID-19 pandemic lapses on April 30.
In an interview with CNN Philippines, Nograles said the IATF was not able to come up with a final recommendation to present to President Duterte during the body’s meeting today.
“There is no final recommendation, although there are several options that the team will be presenting to him (President Duterte),” he said Monday evening.
“Then it’s up to the President what to do with those sets of recommendations,” he added.
According to Nograles, one of the options after April 30 is a modified quarantine which may depend on the number of cases of COVID-19 in the provinces.
The Palace official added that they are ready to pitch to Duterte to allow the operation of select businesses or sectors and the resumption of select public transportation so those who will be allowed to go to work can do so.
Earlier, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said a modified lockdown was one of President Duterte’s options, noting the need for the State to balance its obligation to protect the people from the disease with the right of the public to make a living.
He added that President Duterte has invited health experts, particularly former secretaries of the Department of Health (DOH), for a consultation on the next step regarding the ECQ.
In a tweet, Roque said among those who came to Malacañang were former Health secretaries Janet Garin, Esperanza Cabral, and Jaime Galvez Tan; and health experts doctors Susan Mercado, Anthony Leachon, Anna Lisa Ong-Lim, Marissa Alejandria, Katherine Ann Reyes, and Alfredo Mahar Lagmay.