Presidential adviser calls for selective quarantine
MANILA, Philippines — Implementing a selective quarantine at the barangay level after the extended lockdown ends on April 30 is the most sustainable approach to containing the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), according to Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion.
In a statement, Concepcion recommended that barangays, which still have overwhelming infection rates, undergo another extension to ensure the containment of COVID-19.
“This all serves as an incentive for the mayors, barangay captains, and the residents to keep their barangays safe, with no new cases,” he said.
“Let us not penalize the barangays that are infection-free and have [them] follow… the President’s orders to stay home for six weeks,” he added.
Concepcion said the strategy, if implemented successfully, will help reinstate public confidence and revive the economy.
“With proper testing and containment of the virus at the barangay levels, key industries can resume operations and the essential workforce can return safely to work,” he said.
The barangay quarantine can be used continuously until a cure is found, he added.
According to Concepcion, under the barangay quarantine approach, the mayor and barangay captains are empowered to implement an extended lockdown in their respective communities, especially if the rate of infection in their area is high.
“When we say barangay quarantine, you don’t start by locking down a certain city, you start by considering quarantines for barangays that have high infection rates,” he said.
The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases will provide the determining guidelines for declaring a quarantine, Concepcion said.
The military and police can focus on the infected areas, and the public and private sectors can proceed with the testing of barangay residents to measure the level of risk within the community.
Depending on the number and location of confirmed cases per area, the barangay quarantine can be expanded to become a city/municipality quarantine, and even a provincial quarantine, should a wider scale lockdown be necessary, Concepcion said.
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