President Rodrigo Duterte announced another extension of “Enhanced Community Quarantine” to high-risk regions until May 15.
President Rodrigo Duterte, in his recent Nation Address, announced the extension of the ‘enhanced community quarantine‘ until May 15 – accepting the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).
Harry Roque, Presidential spokesperson confirmed on Friday (April 24, 2020) the President Duterte has approved the said recommendation. President Duterte first announced the Luzon-wide community quarantine in mid-March that will supposedly end on April 13.
With the continued escalation of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines, the President then declared a 2-weeks ECQ extension that will end on April 30. Now that the 2-weeks extension is close to its end, President Duterte then again announced an extension, but now to all the “high-risk regions” which reported a high number of COVID-19 confirmed cases.
Regions included in the extended ECQ includes:
- Island of Mindoro (Oriental and Occidental Mindoro)
- Metro Manila
- Nueva Ecija
- Cebu City
- Davao City
- Davao de Oro (formerly Compostela Valley)
- Davao del Norte
Some of the indicated provinces are being reviewed and may change until April 30.
“The decision regarding the ECQ when May 1, 2020, comes: maintain the ECQ for NCR, Region III, Region VI-A, and all other areas where the threat of COVID-19 is still great, until May 15,” said Roque in Filipino.
Health experts, including the World Health Organization (WHO), have warned about the lifting of quarantine. WHO also set guidelines that should be followed before lifting a lockdown. Lockdowns are a way of health experts to at least control the spread of the virus.
Meanwhile, Senator Ping Lacson supported the ECQ extension saying, “Admittedly, we are still a thousand miles away from flattening the curve.”
“An extension is necessary in highly infected areas as identified by the President in order to sustain social distancing as an indispensable aspect of our country’s fight against COVI-19.
The Philippines has so far recorded 6,981 COVID-19 cases, including 722 recoveries and 462 fatalities.