IATF vows to listen to experts before deciding on Luzon quarantine extension
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte and the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease will consider experts’ opinion before deciding on either lifting or extending the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine.
IATF spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the task force will hold a meeting Monday afternoon. The President will have the final say on making the decision, he noted.
“Di ko po masabi ngayon kung kailan ia-announce ang desisyon tungkol sa ECQ. Pero makakasiguro po kayo na sa desisyong ito, papakinggan natin, ng IATF, at ni Pangulong Duterte and lahat ng mga eksperto bago makarating sa napakaimportanteng desisyon na ito,” Nograles said in a virtual briefing.
(I can’t tell when the decision on the ECQ will be announced. But I assure you that we, the IATF, and President Duterte will listen to experts before arriving on this important decision.)
“Meron po tayong IATF meeting mamayang hapon. Paguusapan po namin ito,” he added.
(We have an IATF meeting later. We will discuss this.)
Nograles also reiterated that the IATF’s technical working group, headed by the Department of Health (DOH), will be the one applying the parameters on whether the ECQ will be lifted or extended.
The parameters, as previously explained by Nograles, are the following:
- Trends in the COVID-19 epidemiological curve, which include, among others, the doubling time, acceleration, or deceleration of new cases;
- 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;
- Social factors;
- Economic factors; and
- Security factors
The Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine is expected to be lifted on midnight of April 13.
As of Sunday, there are 3,246 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country. Of the number, 152 have already died.
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