The Philippine government has extended the Luzon quarantine to 30 April 2020 as the COVID-19 cases continue to escalate. According to Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, spokesman of the Inter-Agency Task Force, President Rodrigo Duterte is willing to lengthen the period of the said Luzon-wide quarantine.
President Duterte, on the late-night of Monday (6 April 2020), addressed the extension and was officially announced by spokesman Nograles the following day.
“If you really want to know, we have discussed it actually even before this, we are inclined to extend the lockdown up to April 30,” President Duterte said.
The Luzon-wide quarantine will supposedly end on 14 April 2020. The extension will enable the government to at least control the spread of the deadly pandemic. COVID-19 cases in the Philippines have so far recorded 3,660 cases and 163 casualties.
Nograles, in a virtual briefing, said, “ Pagkatapos ng kanyang announcement ay vinerify po namin uli at ang sagot po ay, ang enhanced community quarantine is hereby extended until 11:59 pm of April 30.”
The lockdown affects over 57 million of people in Luzon. But the decision made by President Duterte was said to be for the good for his people.
The need for the lockdown extension was properly considered by the government. Nograles said that the government needs more time to ensure the Philippines can flatten the curve and hopefully not yet reach the peak number of the confirmed cases.
The government plans to accelerate the delivery of test results to 24 hours, given that there are 10 certified laboratories in the country. The plan aims to help hospitals to immediately isolate and prevent the spread of the disease.
“Iyun po ang game plan. We need to push the peak kasi hindi pa natin nakikita and peak. Kung lahat po ito ay magagawa natin, sinasabi ng mga eksperto maaari nating ma-push lalo and peak ng COVID-19 dito Pilipinas as far as 2021. Sana by that time makapaghanap na ng vaccine ang mundo,” Nograles said.
The government has designated about P6 billion for COVID-19 response fund.