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Duterte to Listen to Expert Opinions Whether to Lift or Extend EQC in Luzon

President Rodrigo Duterte will listen to expert opinions before deciding whether the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon will be lifted or extended.

Duterte to Listen
Image Source: ABS-CBN

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said on Monday that President Duterte will base his decisions to expert opinions regarding to the extension of enhanced community quarantine in Luzon.

“’Di ko po masasabi ngayon kung kailan nila ia-announce ang desisyon tungkol sa ECQ, pero makakasiguro kayo na sa desisyon na ito, papakinggan po ng IATF at ni Pangulong Duterte ang lahat ng mga experts bago makarating sa napakaimportanteng desisyon na ito,” Nograles said in a virtual press conference.

Recently, lawmakers have called on the government to extend the existing enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon which is set to expire in the second week of April.

Duterte to Listen
Image Source: Philippine Star

They said that that the lockdown and enhanced community quarantine imposed on Luzon has led to a slower increase in the number of COVID-19 cases. The success achieved so far in curbing the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) when it concludes on Arpil 13 will be futile.

According to the report GMA News, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has set five parameters on whether to recommend the total or partial lifting, or the possible extension of the quarantine.

These factors are: 

  • Trends in the COVID-19 epidemiological curve, which include, among others, the doubling time, acceleration, or deceleration of new cases
  • Capacity of the health care system, which includes, among others, the number and availability of quarantine, isolation, and treatment facilities; the capability to mount contact tracing; availability of personal protective equipment (PPEs) to frontliners, and the testing capacity of the country
  • Social factors
  • Economic factors
  • Security factors

Meanwhile, according to presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo, “He [the President]” is evaluating the best option to take that will effectively ensure the success of our war against this wily and faceless global enemy. He will make his decision in due time.” 

“In the meantime, we call on our countrymen to be steadfast in our commitment to take care of each other in this imminent threat to our nation’s survival,” Panelo added.

READ ALSO: EQC Extension: Senators Support This Measure Against COVID-19

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