IATF adviser says gov't should consider extending ECQ in NCR

Published April 22, 2020, 3:41 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

 

By Jeffrey Damicog

The government should consider extending the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila, said an adviser of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Residents wearing facemasks walk past a roadblock with awarenesses signs after the government imposed an enhanced quarantine as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 novel coronavirus in Manila on March 25, 2020. (Photo by Ted ALJIBE / AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)
Residents wearing facemasks walk past a roadblock with awareness signs after the government imposed an enhanced quarantine as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 novel coronavirus in Manila on March 25, 2020. (Photo by Ted ALJIBE / AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)

Dr. Tony Leachon made the suggestion as the Luzon-wide ECQ is set to end on April 30.

“I would recommend extension in Metro Manila and National Capital Region, May 1 to 15, basically to increase the health care capacity, the testing centers, procure more test kits, improve the hospital facilities, and see the figures go down,” he said during an interview with CNN Philippines on Wednesday.

The doctor said NCR remains to be the epicenter of COVID-19 cases in the country.

“Eighty percent of the cases are in the National Capital Region,” Leachon said.

Leachon also suggested a modified ECQ for the rest of Luzon.

“There can be a modified ECQ in Luzon and other areas because there are certain areas with increasing rates like CALABARZON (Cavite-Laguna-Batangas-Rizal-Quezon), Pampanga, and Bulacan,” he said.

He warned that if the restrictions are lifted too soon, this may lead to a resurgence in COVID-19 cases.

“Any plans to extend the quarantine restriction should be carried out gradually or in a phase manner to prevent the resurgence of infection particularly during the rainy season in June,” Leachon said.

He noted that there is already a resurgence in COVID-19 cases in Singapore and Japan following the relaxation of border controls.

 
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