IMPOSING a two-week “modified enhanced community quarantine”(MECQ) on Metro Manila and other provinces “would still yield the already failed results of the government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic” if the “anti-people leadership” of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) is not replaced, human rights alliance Karapatan asserted.
Our frontliners are already calling a spade a spade: We are fighting a losing battle against the pandemic. This is a damning indictment of the government’s failed response to the pandemic. We have said this time and time again: A quarantine is a public health measure that requires comprehensive medical and socioeconomic solutions to curb the spread of pandemic and address its impact on people’s livelihood, but what did the IATF do? They wasted months in distorting the application of a quarantine by turning it into a mere cover for the curtailment of people’s rights and civil liberties—at the expense of both our healthcare workers and the poor.
Last Saturday, Aug. 1, thousands of healthcare workers and medical professionals released an open letter to President Rodrigo Duterte and the IATF to send a “distress signal to the nation” and to call for the refinement of government’s strategies in combating and controlling the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, and address, in particular, the problems of hospital workforce deficiency, failures in testing that have hindered effective contract tracing, isolation, and treatment, transportation and workplace safety, public compliance with self-protection, and the provision of social amelioration for affected families.