Solon proposes ‘selective’ lifting of quarantine amid COVID-19 crisis
MANILA, Philippines — Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Elizaldy Co is proposing a “selective” lifting of the quarantine in places, including island provinces, that have only one or no case of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in 15 days.
“The objective of quarantine lifting is to allow people, albeit in limited numbers and in select localities, to return to their jobs. We’re fighting a protracted war and until no vaccine is invented. [The] government’s limited resources can’t support and feed all those who were displaced. We need to save government funds for the longer battle,” Co said in a statement issued on Tuesday.
Citing the World Health Organization (WHO), Co said that it would take at least two years before an effective vaccine against COVID-19 could be discovered.
He pointed out that it took four years for a vaccine for the Spanish flu to be discovered.
“But the economy can’t wait and our resources can’t last that long,” he said.
“With sufficient data, government can plan and identify which areas can reopen or remain in full lockdown. If we implement selective quarantine, initial estimates indicate that we can save as much as P30-billion,” he added
In implementing the proposed selective quarantine, Co said that each qualified province or municipality must adhere to the following strict terms and conditions:
- Residents who are 60 years old and older are required to stay home since they are prone to acquiring the disease. Until the threat of COVID-19 is over or a new vaccine is out, they must have their own room or space for quarantine.
- Provinces or municipalities with whose number of cases is less than 75% of the estimated outbreak threshold (as determined by the University of the Philippines COVID 19 Response Team) may not implement an enhanced community quarantine at all. But their boundaries should remain closed, or on full lockdown. This is to protect the safe territory and its people from possible carriers of the disease from other places.
- Workers with face masks can report back to work while observing a three-meter distance from each other. Regular hand washing is required.
- People can move around but must observe social distancing as the new norm.
- Once a COVID-19 case is detected and confirmed, the entire province or municipality will automatically be placed on a 30-day lockdown.
So far, there is no decision yet on whether the quarantine will be further extended, eased, or fully lifted by April 30, or when the ECQ in Luzon is scheduled to lapse
As of April 15, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, spokesman of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, said that government was slowly fine-tuning its “gameplan” after April 30
Nograles said that the IATF was still in the process of collecting data to craft the government’s next steps against COVID-19.
The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link.