IATF to discuss recommendation on ECQ lifting or extension on Monday

2020-04-08 15:49

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.