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Solon warns public against complacency as gov’t eases ECQ restrictions

/ 10:50 PM April 24, 2020

BIKE PATROL Policemen on bicycles patrol Davao City’s streets to ensure that residents follow the strict quarantine guidelines and health protocols set by the local government. —KARLOS MANLUPIG

MANILA, Philippines – A lawmaker has urged the public not to take the easing of quarantine regulations like travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic as a sign to be complacent.

Instead, Ako Bicol Rep. Elizaldy Co suggests that people consider social distancing, wearing of face masks, and constant sanitation as new normals to prevent the spread of the disease.

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“We sacrificed for more than a month under strict quarantine. Don’t throw it away by letting our guard down. Let’s follow the new norm,” Co said in a statement.

Earlier, President Rodrigo Duterte announced in a pre-recorded address that the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) will continue until May 15 for several areas that have high coronavirus infection rates.

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Among the areas included in the ECQ extension are Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, and provinces of Pangasinan, Benguet, Albay, Catanduanes and both Mindoro provinces.

The ECQ over Luzon started last March 17, and was slated to last until April 13.  However, increasing COVID-19 cases forced Duterte to extend it until April 30.

As of now the Department of Health said that there are now 7,192 patients infected with the coronavirus nationwide, of which 477 have died and 762 have recovered.  Worldwide, over 2.69 million individuals have been infected, while 190,154 have died from the disease and 733,993 have recovered from it.

The University of the Philippines’ COVID-19 response team initially suggested a modified quarantine measures after April 30, where only areas with outbreak probability rates over 90 percent will be placed on an ECQ.

Co was among the parties who pushed for a similar scheme, to jumpstart the economy which has been lagged due to the suspension of transportation and work, except for essential services like health care and food chains.

“The objective of quarantine lifting is to allow people, albeit in limited numbers and in select localities, to return to their jobs,” Co said.

“We’re fighting a protracted war and until no vaccine is invented, government’s limited resources can’t support and feed all those who were displaced. We need to save government funds for the longer battle,” he added.

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TAGS: 2019 Novel Coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, Ako Bicol, Calabarzon, Central Luzon, COVID-19, Department of Health, ECQ, enhanced community quarantine, Face Masks, lockdown, Metro Manila, nCoV update, Philippine news updates, President Rodrigo Duterte, quarantine regulations, Rep. Elizaldy Co, sanitation, social distancing, travel restrictions
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