By Genalyn Kabiling
Even as the nation is fighting a “war” against the coronavirus pandemic, President Duterte has announced that the government could soon implement “modified quarantine” in some areas.
Addressing the nation Monday night, the President said the government may “partially open” some industry sectors such as construction, subject to health protocols. Duterte, however, asked the public to wait for the final guidelines on the planned shift to modified quarantine.
“Malapit na, iyong iba naka-lockdown pa rin. Tayo, we might open partially — construction workers and things like that. You wait for the… Lalabas na ho, lalabas na ‘yung modified — modified ang ano natin quarantine,” he said over state television.
(It’s imminent. Others will remain in lockdown while we might open partially, construction works and things like that. You wait for the modified quarantine.)
“So we will allow sectors of the society that is not — hindi talaga nagdidikit-dikitan. Ang problema nito kung — kaya modified muna, eh.” (We will allow sectors of society that will observe social distancing. It’s modified.)
Duterte cautioned that the new coronavirus will spread if people will not observe physical distancing even under a modified quarantine scheme.
“Kasi kung magsiksikan kayo diyan sa LRT na naman, wala ng katapusan ang problema natin (Because if you will cram into the LRT again, there will be no end to our problem). It will never end and it will bring us down and down,” he said.
The President recently extended until May 15 the enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila and several other areas with a high risk of coronavirus outbreak. The sustained lockdown is aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus disease.
Areas with moderate or low risk, on the other hand, will be placed under general community quarantine starting May 1. Public transportation may operate at reduced capacity while certain establishments will be allowed to operate subject to minimum health standards.
In his remarks Monday, the President thanked the public for following the government’s quarantine regulations to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Duterte admitted that the country, which has recorded more than 7,000 infections, was “fighting a war, a crisis.”
“Nagpapasalamat ako sa inyo for heeding the warnings of government na mag-quarantine kayo para maprotektahan ninyo ‘yung sarili ninyo at ‘yung kapwa tao ninyo,” he said. (I thank you for heeding the warnings of government to observe the quarantine to protect yourself and others.)
Duterte also promised to provide aid to people affected by the coronavirus-related lockdown. He said those who have not yet received any assistance should bring their complaints to their local officials or even radio stations.
“Mag-report kayo diyan and it’s a matter of just using a cellphone — lahat naman ng cellphone you can report to the governor or the governor will just ask Malacañang kung sino pa ba ang — those who were left behind, sino pang hindi nabigyan, kasi pagbigyan namin lahat,” he said.
(Just make a report and it’s a matter of just using a cellphone. You can report to the governor or the governor will just ask Malacañang about those who were left behind, who have not been given aid yet, because we will give aid to everyone.)