MANILA – The country’s defense chief said the number of new coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases in the remaining days of April will be the final factor in determining whether the ongoing enhanced community quarantine in Luzon be will extended or not.

“The trend of Covid(-19) cases appearing every day will be the final determinant.That’s why these last 11 days of April are crucial in the decision-making process. We should see a tapering off or downward trend to warrant partial lifting or continue with the lockdown if the trend continues to go up,” Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said in a message to reporters late Sunday.

Lorenzana said this is also the reason why the government is worried over some Filipinos’ continuous violation of enhanced community quarantine protocols on social distancing and mass gatherings.

“That is why we are worried about these too many people out in groups in supermarkets, streets, and other places. These sights do not inspire confidence that we will achieve our objective by end of this month,” he added.

He added that this is also why he has instructed Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Gen. Felimon T. Santos Jr. to deploy more troops in Metro Manila and other areas with a high number of Covid-19 cases.

As of Sunday, the Philippines has a total of 6,259 Covid-19 positive cases, 572 recoveries, and 409 deaths.

He added that military personnel will augment the police to strictly implement social distancing and enhanced community quarantine. (PNA)

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