Gov’t task force open to ECQ extension if steep rise in COVID-19 cases continues — Galvez

Published March 30, 2021, 7:02 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

The government task force has not closed its doors on the possible extension of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in National Capital Region and four nearby provinces.

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said they would “look seriously” into the recommendation of the experts for an ECQ extension if there would be continued spike in cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr.

“Kapag nagkakaroon pa rin iyong continues steep rise of ano, ibig sabihin iyong exponential increase niya is hindi siya nagpa-plateau or hindi siya bumababa, it means that the intervention that we are having, kailangan makumpleto po natin (If the steep rise of cases continues, or the exponential increase is not plateauing or slowing down, it means that the intervention that we are having, we must complete it),” he said during an online briefing.

“We are open to the recommendation of our experts na i-extend natin ng 14 days kasi iyon ang sinasabi nga nila na iyong inoculation period noong virus is 14 days. (We are open to the recommendation of our experts to extend by 14 days because they’re saying the inoculation period of the virus is 14 days),” he added.

President Duterte has placed Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal under the strict lockdown from March 29 to April 4 to suppress the rapid rise in coronavirus cases. The ECQ restrictions included stay-at-home rule at all times except for essential work and needs, ban on mass gatherings, reduced capacity of public transportation, and operations of industries engaged only in essential and frontline services.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the ECQ implementation seeks to bring down the COVID-19 cases, prevent hospitals from getting overwhelmed, and save more lives. He added that proposed extension of the ECQ will be further discussed by the IATF this coming Saturday.

The Department of Health has recommended the extension of ECQ in Greater Manila Area for another week. An assessment on the progress will be made before the ECQ ends on April 4, according to Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.

As of March 30, the country has recorded 741,181 cases of coronavirus, including 124,680 active cases and 13,191 deaths.