By Prince Golez
The national government has decided to extend the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to fully assess the impact of lockdown in containing the spread of the new coronavirus, according to Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles.
In a virtual news conference Tuesday, Nograles said that President Rodrigo Duterte approved Monday the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the coronavirus pandemic (IATF) to extend the Luzon-wide quarantine for another two weeks to prevent further transmission.
The quarantine extension also aims to strengthen the country’s capacity to tackle the viral disease that has infected 3,660 individuals as of yesterday, he added.
“Yung totoong nagkaroon talaga ng ECQ, yung full ECQ natin, ay nangyari talaga nung March 15. Dun mo talaga naramdaman at nakita yung effect ng implementation ng ECQ. Base sa siyensa at agham, and the way we understand the virus, yung sintomas ay maaaring lumabas between five and 14 days from the time of your infection. So, sagarin na natin ng 14 days yan, ibig sabihin kung tayo ay nag ECQ ng March 15 kailan natin makikita ang earliest effect ng ECQ? March 15 plus 14 days equals March 29,” the IATF spokesperson explained.
“Base sa ating epidemiologists, mga scientists, mga mathematicians, at mga eksperto, March 29 lang natin makikita yung earliest effect ng ating ECQ, para malaman talaga natin kung tama ang ginawa natin, kung ano ang naging effect ng ECQ dito sa Luzon. Base din sa ating mga experts, ang most likely na makita natin na mas klaro ang naging effect ng ECQ most likely makikita natin ng mid-April.
“You need to give us at least mid-April to study the effect of the ECQ, yun ang sinasabi ng ating mga eksperto. Kaya humihingi tayo ng extension up to April 30 para, unang-una, ma-measure talaga nating kung ano yung full effect ng ECQ. Pangalawa, para ma-increase pa natin lalo yung health capacity ng Luzon at ng buong bansa. Yun po ang reason natin,” he said.