Friday, June 25, 2021

Editorial: We are now under ECQ, do not panic

AT 9 P.M. on April 4, 2020, Davao City was placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to combat and slow down the spread of the new coronavirus disease (Covid-19). Outside Metro Manila, Davao Region currently has the most number of cases in the country with 77. Of the 77, 62 are in Davao City.

According to a study conducted by Roel Ceballos, faculty of statistics, and editor of the official research journal of the University of Southeastern Philippines (Usep), “the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine is significant in reducing the infection rate.”

“The community and enhanced community quarantine measures are found to be useful in slowing down the rate of infection and protecting the large fraction of susceptible population from being infected,” Usep said in a statement on its official website.

Under Executive Order No. 23, which placed the city under ECQ, the movements of Dabawenyos have been limited. Davao City Mayor Sara Z. Duterte-Carpio has regularly reminded Dabawenyos not to panic as operation of essential businesses is assured and a handful of transportation is still open and available to the public.

Mass transportation has been suspended. Though the city only allowed jeepney drivers under the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (Tupad) program to continue to operate. The city also allows taxis and tricycles to continue but social distancing must be observed. It will also provide free bus services.

The city has also released food and medicine passes (FM Pass) to allow Dabawenyos to do some grocery or medicine runs. However, this will be fully implemented on April 7 as some of the FM passes have yet to be released.

We all want this Covid-19 to end as quickly as possible. Though we have to face the reality that it will be months before things return to normal.

However, based on the “Modelling the Dynamics of Covid-19 transmission in Davao Region” by Ceballos, putting the city under ECQ will hasten our road to recovery. Based on their simulation, under ECQ, it is assumed that “the peak of infection would be around 18 to 20 days from March 30, 2020 which will be around mid-April 2020.” This is a silver lining ahead of us backed by a scientific process. Coupled with 21 recoveries as of April 4, 2020, there is still hope in the distance.

What is important now is for the public to cooperate fully with the government. We want all this to end. The government, together with those in the front lines, need every help and support they can get from us because they cannot do this all by themselves.

“However, as with any other control measures in a complex biological system such as disease transmission, the effectiveness lies within the willingness and capacity of the subjects or people to fully cooperate,” Usep said in its statement.


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