INTERIOR and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said on Monday, March 30, that it is not advisable for the Luzon lockdown to be extended because of its impact on the economy.
“’Yung lockdown hindi advisable na pahabain ‘yung lockdown kasi magsa-suffer ng husto ‘yung ating economy,” he said in a radio interview.
He called on the public to take the remaining two weeks of the enhanced community quarantine seriously by staying at home in order to fully contain the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak.
He said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID), which spearheads the government’s fight against the Covid-19, may recommend the lifting of the lockdown depending on the confirmed number of Covid-19 patients.
The decision lies with the President.
“Depende sa bilang mga nagpapasitibo pero lilinawin ko lang ano, ‘yung pagtaas ng ating positive cases ngayon ay dahil sa dami na ng test kit na nailabas kaya bumilis ano pero hindi ito ibig sabihin na talagang tayo ay nagkakaroon ng spiraling o exponential kasi nga if we compare our country with other countries like Spain, France and Italy na kung hindi tayo nag-lockdown sabi ko nga around 20 thousand sana ‘yung cases natin ngayon, maaring madagdagan pa ‘yung bilang pero nakikita mo ‘yung increment nya hindi sya ‘yung tinatawag natin na alarming,” he said.
“And then nakita natin for the next two weeks ano pag ma-enforce natin ‘yung pagsuot ng mask at saka ‘yung social distancing ng mga inexempt nating lumabas at ‘yung lockdown sa mga hindi naman dapat ano, bababa yan at from there, paguusapan ng IATF at saka ng national task force Covid kung anong mga measures pa ‘yung kelangan nating gawin para sigurado na magse-zero case na tayo,” he added
President Rodrigo Duterte placed Metro Manila on general community quarantine on March 15. He expanded the coverage to the entire Luzon and intensified quarantine rules under an enhanced community quarantine on March 17.
As of 4 p.m. March 30, the total number of Covid-19 cases in the country has climbed to 1,546, with 78 deaths. A total of 42 patients have recovered. (SunStar Philippines)