Reports of Duterte extending ECQ until mid-May ‘totally untrue’ — IATF
MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte has no plans as of yet to extend the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon, Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) Spokesperson Karlo Nograles assured on Saturday.
Answering a reporter’s query during the online press conference, Nograles refuted reports that he allegedly told businessmen during a briefing that Duterte was “leaning to extend the ECQ until mid-May,” stressing that it is “totally fake.”
“Nako, napakalayo sa katotothanan (that is very far from the truth). This is totally false, totally, untrue, totally fake. So ‘wag na po natin patulan ‘yan (Best not to entertain it). Fake, false, untrue. Totally,” the IATF spokesperson stressed.
The Luzon-wide ECQ, which was originally supposed to be lifted by midnight of April 13, was ordered extended by Duterte until April 30 as COVID-19 cases continue to grow both nationwide and worldwide.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año on Friday, however, said in a dzMM interview that if the surge in COVID-19 cases in the country continues, it is possible for the government to extend the ECQ beyond April 30.
The ECQ has suspended public mass transportation, prohibited mass gatherings, as well as ordered the temporary closure of some businesses, excluding hospitals, groceries, drug stores, and other establishments providing essential services.
As of Saturday, April 17, the country has recorded 5,878 COVID-19 cases including 487 recoveries and 387 deaths.
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