DOH supports call for 'appropriate implementation of community quarantines'
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III
The STAR/Michael Varcas
DOH supports call for 'appropriate implementation of community quarantines'
Ratziel San Juan ( - August 1, 2020 - 3:06pm

MANILA, Philippines — After more than 80 medical societies on Saturday morning called to implement a two-week “timeout” period through an enhanced community quarantine in Mega Manila, the Department of Health issued a statement saying that its interests are in line with healthcare workers but did not specify whether it was backing a lockdown as advised.

RELATED: Medical frontliners advise return to ECQ in Mega Manila until August 15

The Health department also shifted attention to ordinary citizens when it came to the country’s overloaded healthcare capacity.

“We support the call of our frontliners to ensure appropriate implementation of community quarantines to ensure the protection of our health workers, but while the government is taking the necessary actions to address the situation, we emphasize that it is also the duty of every citizen to ensure that our health system is not overwhelmed,” the department said in a Saturday afternoon statement.

The ECQ recommended by medical frontliners is meant to address existing issues on hospital workforce efficiency, failure of case finding and isolation, failure of contact tracing and quarantine, transportation safety, workplace safety, public compliance with self-protection, and social amelioration.

Without mentioning whether it supports an ECQ implementation in particular, the DOH said that it welcomes the opportunity to work with the medical societies and frontline healthcare workers on COVID-19 response efforts and is grateful for their “continued trust.”

“Rest assured that DOH is leading in working together with the other agencies in supporting the HCWs and our plight during this situation,” the department told stakeholders without mentioning specific measures.

“We are currently in dialogue with our medical frontliners to discuss the best steps forward, and in so doing we will ensure to strike a balance among all the important factors that we have to take into account.”

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