Palace: Extending ECQ an absolute last resort

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MALACAÑANG may consider extending the week-long enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) declared over the National Capital Region and adjoining provinces – but only as its last resort, says presidential spokesperson Harry Roque.

In a press briefing, Roque said that the extension may happen if figures reflecting daily tally of COVID-19 still does not improve.

We are hoping that an extension would be unnecessary. Another week or two weeks of ECQ or modified ECQ will just be an absolute last resort,” said Roque, citing the economic implications which may be caused by prolonging the lockdown.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases is expected to re-convene a day before the expiration of the week-long lockdown to determine the fate of Metro Manila, Rizal, Laguna, Cavite and Bulacan.

During the same briefing, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez said the government would look “closely” into the suggestions of health experts wanting for an extension, adding that the government’s decision would be made before ECQ ends on Easter Sunday.

We will look into the suggestion seriously. We are open to the recommendation of the experts,” Galvez said.

Several sectors, including the Department of Health (DOH), have recommended an ECQ extension to another seven days, claiming that a one-week lockdown won’t be enough to sustain a downward trend in coronavirus infections.

The DOH has so far recorded 741,181 COVID-19 cases.

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