Saturday, 08 August, 2020

Philippines Prez Duterte extends Coronavirus lockdown until April 30

President Rodrigo Duterte President Rodrigo Duterte
Deanna Wagner | 07 April, 2020, 13:02

The decision was made based on the recommendations of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Infectious Disease (IATF) to extend the ECQ until 11:59 PM of April 30, 2020.

The Enhanced Community Quarantine was due to end next week but would be extended until April 30, Karlo Nograles, a cabinet secretary, told a regular news conference.

The Cabinet official said it was unnecessary to expand the lockdown to Visayas and Mindanao even as some provinces already imposed local community quarantines.

This means that approximately 57 million people living in Luzon will be spending around three more weeks under the same measures: limited movement, home quarantine, and social distancing, among others. But he said medical experts are continuously monitoring the cases in the other regions.

"We want to see a significant decrease in cases of COVID-19", he said in Filipino.

Nograles admitted that if the government would lift the quarantine prematurely, there would be an increase in coronavirus cases in the country. Authorities are pushing to "flatten the curve" of COVID-19, a.k.a. slowing the possible spread down to within the capacity of our health system.

As of Monday, there are 3,660 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country.

Gov. Parson announces "Stay At Home Missouri" order
Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and SC and South Dakota have yet to implement statewide stay-at-home orders. As of Friday, Missouri has 2,113 positive COVID-19 cases out of 24,727 tested in Missouri's population of 6 million.

With only 10 certified laboratories nationwide as of Tuesday, only around 2,000 tests can be done daily.

"Kailangan natin ng extension up to April 30 para lubos pa nating mapag-aralan ang COVID-19 na disease na ito", he said in a virtual press briefing.

Convention centers have also been converted into quarantine facilities as part of the government's segregation system to isolate patients who will test positive for COVID-19 and patients under investigation (PUIs).

By putting these changes in place, he said, the government hopes the Philippines can buy time and reach the peak number of cases only after scientists finally create a vaccine for the new coronavirus.

'So that is the game plan.

Responding to Duterte's call, Amnesty International on Thursday called the statement "deeply alarming" and warned, "Deadly, unchecked force should never be used in an emergency such as the COVID-19 pandemic".

"If all of these can be done, the experts said we can push back the peak of COVID-19 in the Philippines as far as year 2021".