No community quarantine extension, ifâ¦
In a press briefing at Malacañang yesterday, Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año said the government wants to “flatten the curve” by mid-April following President Duterte’s strict orders for a lockdown and social distancing.
The STAR/Miguel de Guzman
No community quarantine extension, if…
Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) - March 26, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — If all protocols are followed, the government is hoping to arrest the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) by the end of the enhanced community quarantine on April 14.

Government officials are also expecting that there would be no need to expand the quarantine policy to the Visayas and Mindanao to enable the country’s southern section to function normally while also being cautious about the virus spread.

In a press briefing at Malacañang yesterday, Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año said the government wants to “flatten the curve” by mid-April following President Duterte’s strict orders for a lockdown and social distancing.

Año, vice chairman of the National Action Plan on COVID-19, said the Philippines can prevent a situation similar to that of Italy, which has so far recorded 17,000 infected cases and almost 7,000 deaths.

“Our objective is flatten the curve so that we can still be within our capacity to treat cases of positive patients. If we won’t act, (our situation) will become similar to Italy, where we would just let people die because we cannot treat (patients) anymore,” he added.

“We are not the same as rich countries like South Korea that can conduct 15,000 tests a day. The solution for us is to impose the enhanced community quarantine so that everybody will distance and keep himself locked in their homes,” Año said.

Following Duterte’s declaration of a state of public health emergency, Año said the Philippines is a step ahead of everyone, citing Spain, the United States and Italy which are among the countries that have high numbers of COVID-19 cases.

“Let me remind everyone that we are always one step ahead of others, like Spain, Italy and even US. If we do not implement draconian measures like these, we would be ending up like at least half of Italy’s condition now because of the spread of virus,” Año said.?“We might reach the five-digit mark if the draconian measures are not imposed,” he said.

“Remember that the modeling of the WHO said that if we don’t act immediately, we would have 75,000 infected people in three to five months, with three percent mortality (rate) and about five percent severe conditions of patients,” Año said.

Secretary to the Cabinet Karlo Nograles also agreed that there is no need to expand the enhanced community quarantine from Luzon to the Visayas and Mindanao.

“What we would have achieved by April 12, we would be able to contain the virus. We were able to identify areas which are negative, so we want to see more communities with no COVID-19 cases, and if there are positive – they are already isolated from the communities focusing on treatment and recovery,” Nograles said.

He said the government has created the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases which has subgroups to focus on areas that need immediate attention, including the deployment of medical workers and the delivery of protective gear.

All the needs of the frontline health workers would be procured and deployed for immediate distribution in the field, he added.

COMMUNITY QUARANTINE EDUARDO ANO LOCKDOWN RODRIGO ROA DUTERTE
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