MANILA – Malacañang has released a memorandum officially informing government agencies about the extension of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) until April 30 as part of government efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
The memorandum, signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on Tuesday (April 7), was released to reporters on Wednesday.
Under the memorandum, government agencies are ordered to continue implementing ECQ guidelines drafted by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) until April 30.
“All concerned agencies are therefore directed to continue implementing existing guidelines relative to the ECQ during the period of extension, without prejudice to this Office’s discretion on the relaxation of the implementation of the ECQ in certain areas, or the grant of exemptions in favor of certain sectors, as public health and food security considerations may warrant,” the memorandum read.
The memorandum also said the extension of the ECQ shall be without prejudice to the lifting or modification of existing guidelines, as may be approved by the IATF.
The ECQ was supposed to lapse on April 12.
President Rodrigo Duterte approved the IATF recommendation to extend the ECQ until April 30 to allow the government to better determine whether the rate of transmission has slowed down and enhance its Covid-19 testing capacity.
Local government units (LGUs) in the Visayas and Mindanao have the discretion to impose ECQ.
Earlier, Nograles the ECQ will also allow the government to maximize existing subnational laboratories to be able to conduct as many as 13,000 to 20,000 tests per day by April 27.
The government should also be able to immediately isolate patients under investigation (PUIs) and persons under monitoring (PUMs) and enhance its contact tracing, he said.
Mass testing of Covid-19 patients, PUMs, and PUIs will start on April 14.
As of Tuesday, health authorities reported a total of 3,764 Covid-19 cases, 177 death, and 84 recoveries. (PNA)