MANILA, Philippines – The national government has enhanced the implementation of community quarantine from Metro Manila to the entire island of Luzon after the region recorded majority of the country’s COVID-19 cases.
A number of cases have also been detected outside of Luzon which raises the possible extension of enhanced community quarantine to the Visayas and Mindanao.
The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) clarified, however, they see no reason to recommend such action though several local government units (LGUs) in these major islands are implementing community quarantine in consultation with the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) based on the number of COVID-19 cases in their localities.
“Sa ngayon, hindi pa naman kailangang buong Visayas at Mindanao para tuloy-tuloy pa rin naman ang kanilang normal na buhay lalo ang nasa trabaho at food production, (For now, the inclusion of Visayas and Mindanao is not necessary, so that they can continue with their normal lives especially those in food production),” explained DILG Secretary Eduardo Año.
“But if there is a necessity and depending on the development, the IATF will assess that,” the official said.
Meanwhile, Año believes that the enhanced community quarantine will be shortened or lifted depending on the cooperation of various sectors in the implementation of government guidelines in their areas.
One of these is the strict observation and practice of physical distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine is until April 13 but it can be lifted or extended depending on the gravity of the COVID-19 crisis. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
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