Cebu province to be placed under ECQ to combat COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   March 26, 2020   •   302

Cebu Provincial Capitol

The province of Cebu will be placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in a bid to stop the spread of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Under Executive Order No. 5-N signed on March 25, Governor Gwendolyn Garcia placed Cebu province under enhanced community quarantine, and that starting 12:01 a.m. of March 27, Friday entry of all persons arriving on international flights in the province will be banned.

Outbound passengers, however, will still be allowed to leave the province, and the movement of all cargo in airports and seaports will not be restricted during the community quarantine period.

“Basic and essential goods, and other necessities shall be given priority over other goods,” the order read.

The EO also mandated the police, military and other government security forces assigned in the province to assist in the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine.

Garcia said she is set to meet with local chief executives to discuss the measures which will be carried out during the quarantine period.

She has also asked the Provincial Board to hold an emergency session on Thursday to place the entire province under a state of emergency, which would allow authorities to access emergency funds for COVID-19 response.

Cebu province so far has one confirmed COVID-19 patient while there are nine “presumptive” positive cases recorded in the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, and Lapu-Lapu. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Gladys Toabi)

An earlier version of this article erroneously stated that Cebu province has eight “presumptive” positive cases recorded in the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, and Lapu-Lapu. Revision has been made.

Duterte ‘inclined to extend’ Luzon lockdown to April 30

Marje Pelayo   •   April 7, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Luzon residents may have to endure two more weeks at home as President Rodrigo Duterte considers extending the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

In his public address on Monday evening (April 6), the President asked the public for more patience and understanding and to be more cooperative with the national government in the face of a health crisis brought about by the deadly coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“We are inclined to extend the lockdown up to April 30,” the Chief Executive announced.

Tingnan natin after that [Let’s see after that]. In the meantime, double time kami,” he added.

The President, likewise, reiterated his call for the public to stay at home as the solution to this global pandemic is simply to “not get infected.”

He noted the sad reality of COVID-19 patients passing without having a funeral service as their remains go straight to cremation.

Duterte admitted that even the national government is getting ‘desperate’ as it has limited resources to distribute to millions of Filipinos affected by the crisis.

The President added that the P275-B budget that Congress authorized him to spend is not enough and would be gone in two months.

Thus, he asked the Department of Finance to find ways to generate revenues.

“We are finding ways to adjust the budget. We will prioritize the people, the stomach. If they have nothing to eat, a human being can become violent,” he added.

He appealed to those who have more to give to those in need and asked the Filipino people to pray for the country and the world in the face of this global pandemic.

“I am calling on the nation to come together and pay tribute to the indomitable spirit of the Filipino and unite in one prayer to God to fight our common enemy,” he concluded. MNP (with input from Rosalie Coz)

IATF to discuss recommendation on ECQ lifting or extension Monday

Robie de Guzman   •   April 6, 2020

Motorists get their temperatures checked at a police checkpoint during the enhanced community quarantine

MANILA, Philippines – The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) will discuss on Monday whether to expand, extend or lift the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon to combat the spread of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

IATF spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said they will submit a recommendation to President Rodrigo Duterte to decide on the matter before the ECQ ends on April 12.

Nograles assured that the recommendation on the Luzon-wide quarantine will be based on scientific data and five parameters approved by the IATF.

These parameters are the trends in the COVID-19 epidemiological curve including the deceleration and acceleration of cases; the capacity of the health care system such as availability of quarantine centers and testing capability; and social, economic, and security concerns.

Nograles issued the statement following calls from medical experts, business groups and several lawmakers to extend the quarantine for two more weeks to ensure the containment of the virus.

Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the president is still studying the possibility of an extension amid the increase in the cases of infections.

To date, the Philippines has 3,246 confirmed coronavirus cases with 152 fatalities and 64 total recoveries.

Health reform advocate recommends ECQ extension in Luzon

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 3, 2020

A doctor and health reform advocate has recommended the extend the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon due to the continuous rise in confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the country.

In an interview in ‘Get it Straight with Daniel Razon’, Special Adviser to the National Action Plan on COVID-19 Chief Implementor Dr. Anthony Leachon said there are several things to consider before lifting the ECQ.

Leachon noted that the government should look into the number of recoveries from the virus, the number of new cases, and the number of deaths to see if there is a considerable drop.

“We must not rush into this. Nagsabi ang World Health Organization (WHO) two weeks ago na the Philippines is not ready for lifting the lockdown,” he said.

Leachon also suggests lifting the ECQ gradually and prioritize areas which have a huge decrease in the number of COVID-19 cases.

Meanwhile, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) still has not announced any official decision on the said recommendation for ECQ extension. AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)


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