MANILA – Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said Thursday he hopes there would be a significant decline in the number of new coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infections in the country in the last two weeks of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) being implemented in Luzon.

In a radio interview, Año noted that the extension of the quarantine period seems to be working as the Philippines could have recorded 50,000 cases with 7,000 deaths if the ECQ was immediately lifted.

He added that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) is consulting businessmen, health professionals, and scientists on the lifting of the ECQ.

By the end of April, the government targets to conduct 8,000 Covid-19 tests per day, Año said, adding that the task force is studying how businesses would be gradually opened once the ECQ ends on April 30.

“So pinag-aaralan natin kung gaano karaming workforce ang puwede natin payagan, gradual, unti-unti, hanggang mag-normalize. So rest assured, ang gagawin naming recommendation sa Pangulo ay itong mas makabubuti sa ating bansa at sa ating mga kababayan (We are studying how many workers would be gradually allowed to go to work until the situation becomes normal. Rest assured that our recommendation to the President would be for the good of the country and our countrymen),” he said.

Año also assured a strict implementation of the ECQ guidelines.

As of Wednesday, the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the Philippines reached 5,453 with 353 recoveries and 349 deaths. (PNA)

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