MANILA – Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año on Monday said extending the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine is not advisable as it would affect the country’s economy.
“Hindi advisable na pahabain, magsa-suffer ang economy (It is not advisable to extend it, the economy will only suffer),” Año said in a radio interview.
Año said the government will be able address the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) crisis in the remaining two weeks if everyone will cooperate and strictly follow the enhanced community quarantine.
“Itong natitirang dalawang linggo nating ito at seryosohin natin I tell you maso-solve natin ito, wala lang mga pasaway (In the next two weeks and we’ll have to take it seriously, I tell you, we will solve it, if no one will violate),” he said.
Under the 30-day enhanced community quarantine imposed to contain the spread of Covid-19 outbreak, Año said people living in Luzon are required to observe strict home quarantine and limit movements to accessing basic necessities.
He said decision to lift the enhanced community quarantine on April 14 will still depend on the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Depende sa ating Pangulo kung i-lift yan. Meron mga measures pagkatapos ng lockdown. Kailangan ba or ilan workforce percent ang papayagan muna natin, unti-unti establishment na io-open, yun yung mga measures na dapat i-continue (It will depend on the President if it will be lifted. There are measures after lockdown, how many percent of workforce will be allowed, gradual opening of establishment, measures that will be continued),” he explained.
Año said the decision of Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) would rely on the number of Covid-19 positive cases in the country.
“Palagay ko naman pag umabot tayo ng ganun (10,000 cases) dapat i-extend yun, di pupuwedeng pabayaan mo lang, pero syempre IATF ang magde-decide dyan, ng particular number ng threshold natin at saka yung mga underlying factors pa, so malalaman natin yun ano sa mga susunod na mga araw (If it will reach 10,000 cases, it should be extended. We cannot ignore it but of course, IATF will still decide base on particular number of threshold and underlying factors. It will be determined in the next days),” Año said.
As of now, he said the Covid-19 cases increased due to the high number of test kits received by the government.
The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday reported 128 new cases, bringing the total to 1,546 positive patients with 78 deaths and 42 recoveries.
He said without the enhanced community quarantine, the number of confirmed cases could have been higher.
Año said the DILG and other concerned government agencies have started identifying provinces, municipalities and barangays which may be used as isolation sites for patients under investigations (PUIs) and persons under monitoring (PUMs).
He said the Department of Public Works and Highways, led by Secretary Mark Villar, will inspect the identified quarantine areas. (PNA)