MANILA (UPDATED) – President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said the national government may extend the ongoing lockdown of Luzon, home to half of the Philippines’ 100-million population, until April 30 to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
“We are inclined to extend the lockdown up to April 30. Tingnan natin after that,” Duterte said in a televised speech.
Luzon is supposed to be quarantined only until April 12 as health authorities ramped up efforts to contain the outbreak.
With the possible extension, people may be required to stay at home further to avoid transmission of the disease.
Transportation lines will remain suspended, and provision for food and essential health services will still be regulated, if the enhanced community quarantine is not revised and extended.
The Philippines is in a state of public health emergency and calamity over Coronavirus Disease 2019 that has spread out of its origin, China, to nearly 200 countries and territories since it was first detected late last year.
Over 60,000 people have lost their lives to Coronavirus Disease 2019 worldwide and there are more than a million confirmed cases, with the outbreak yet to reach its peak across the developed and emerging world.
The Department of Health on Monday announced 414 new confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 cases, bringing the total number of patients in the Philippines to 3,660.
This is the second highest number of new cases reported in a day. The highest was 538, reported last March 31. In total, there are already 73 recoveries and 163 COVID-19 fatalities in the Philippines.
The Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases said that the government will consider at least five factors in making the decision: (1) trends in the COVID-19 epidemiological curve, which include, among others, the doubling time, acceleration, or deceleration of new cases; (2) capacity of the health care system, which includes, among others, the number and availability of quarantine, isolation, and treatment facilities; the capability to mount contact tracing; availability of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to frontliners, and the testing capacity of the country; (3) social factors; (4) economic factors; and (5) security factors.
“Di ko po masasabi ngayon kung kailan nila ia-announce ang desisyon tungkol sa ECQ, pero makakasiguro kayo na sa desisyon na ito, papakinggan po ng IATF at ni Pangulong Duterte ang lahat ng mga experts bago makarating sa napakaimportanteng desisyon na ito,” Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles earlier said.
Source: ABS-CBN NEWS
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