Solon wants more tests conducted, lockdown extended
MANILA, Philippines – Until some 250,000 Filipinos have been tested for the new coronavirus, the government should not lift the Luzon lockdown, according to the chair of the House ways and means panel, who backed calls for a two-week extension of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
Albay Rep. Joey Salceda said the trajectory of coronavirus cases in the country necessitated another two-week extension of the ECQ in Luzon and other regions, arguing it would be “willful neglect” to reopen the economy under these circumstances.
He said the government should not relax quarantine protocols after the April 30 deadline until mass testing had reached a similar threshold as countries that had successfully kept the coronavirus at bay.
“Before considering a lifting of the ECQ, we propose reaching at least the 0.22 percent testing stage, which is where Taiwan currently is at,” Salceda wrote in a white paper arguing for an extension of the ECQ.
“This would mean around 250,000 unique individuals should have been tested by now,” according to the paper.
The country’s testing capabilities remain considerably limited, with only around 0.04 population of its population tested, he said.
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