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Ping stresses unity in fighting COVID-19 threat

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Public support is needed for the “lockdown” or “community quarantine” on Metro Manila and other measures against the COVID-19 threat, Sen. Panfilo Lacson said Friday.

Lacson said the Metro Manila “lockdown” in particular is one decisive government action that needs the people’s support, regardless of the sacrifices or inconvenience it brings.

“This is not the time to argue and fight. Instead, we should all unite to get over this plague,” he said in a statement.

On Thursday evening, President Rodrigo Duterte announced a “community quarantine” on Metro Manila, among other measures aimed at addressing the spread of COVID-19.

But Lacson also stressed the government must lose no time in coming up with “practical but effective ways of implementing it to serve its real purpose for our country to survive this unprecedented crisis that we are facing.”

He also said the Department of Health’s Inter-Agency Task Force (DOH-IATF) should issue clear, simple and concise guidelines on dealing with COVID-19 to prevent confusion among the public.

Lacson lamented so many doctors and medical experts have been expressing different opinions on it, particularly on its transmission.

He cited reports quoting former Health Secretary and now Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin as saying COVID-19 is infectious only when the patient is symptomatic, and that quarantine should be mandatory only for those who had direct contact with positive patient.

This may clash with an earlier report saying Chinese researchers confirmed a case of asymptomatic transmission where a woman from Wuhan passed it to five kin but never got physically sick herself.

“The Department of Health’s Inter-Agency Task Force (DOH-IATF) should issue clear, simple and concise guidelines on dealing with COVID-19 to prevent confusion among the public, as so many doctors and medical experts have been expressing different opinions on it, particularly on its transmission,” he said.

Meanwhile, Lacson scored those who refuse to self-quarantine and choose instead to work or move around in spite of full knowledge of interaction with a possible COVID-19 carrier.

Doing so is “not a laudable act” but “is in fact damnable,” he said.

Lacson also reminded the public to practice self-discipline and self-control against thoughtless acts such as hoarding and profiteering at the expense of fellow Filipinos.

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