Metro Manila Urged To Impose Longer Lockdown To Contain Virus Spread
LONGER LOCKDOWN OF METRO MANILA – As the spread of the Coronavirus continued, the adviser for the Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19 urged for an extended lockdown.
Metro Manila is home to about 12.8 million people. Currently, the residents are under an Enhanced Community Quarantine. As such, they are only allowed outside of their homes to get necessities such as food and medicine.
However, the ECQ in the Metro is expected to be lifted on April 12. Although, the World Health Organization (WHO) had previously warned about lifting the lockdown prematurely. Likewise, Dr. Tony Leachon, adviser for the Inter-Agency’s COVID-19 team urged the extension of the quarantine.
Additionally, Leachon emphasized that the daily reported cases are still “very steep” and had yet to peak. Based on a previous report, the WHO had estimated that the Philippines would peak at around 70,000 cases of COVID-19 with over 2,000 fatalities.
Moreover, Leachon advised that if the lockdown is extended in Metro Manila, other areas in Luzon with “sporadic” coronavirus cases could continue their quarantine. Following this, contact tracing for those patients must be initialized along with practicing physical distancing.
This would synergize well with the government’s plan to conduct mass testings for COVID-19 on April 14. Based on a report from ABS-CBN, Leachon stated:
Hindi ito puwedeng matalo kung hindi tayo magma-mass testing,
Pag hindi ka nag-testings dito, para kang naghahanap ng aspile sa dayami nang bulag ang mata
(We can’t defeat the virus if we don’t conduct mass testings. Without this, we would be blindly looking for a needle in a haystack.)
Currently, the Philippines reported 107 deaths due to the virus. In lieu of this, the Philippine government required all residents to wear face masks while outside their homes.