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Duterte studying whether or not to extend COVID-19 quarantine in Luzon

President Rodrigo Duterte is weighing his options on whether to lift or extend the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon, his spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Monday.

“The President is seriously evaluating the inputs and suggestions given by various sectors of society for either the extension or the lifting of the enhanced community quarantine or lockdown and will take the best option that will purge us of this pandemic disease,” Panelo said.

“He will announce his decision very soon.”

Vice President Leni Robredo and some lawmakers have called for an extension of the enhanced community quarantine, which will end on April 13, to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has set five parameters on whether to recommend the total or partial lifting, or the possible extension of the quarantine to the President.

These factors are:

  • Trends in the COVID-19 epidemiological curve, which include, among others, the doubling time, acceleration, or deceleration of new cases;
  • Capacity of the health care system, which includes, among others, the number and availability of quarantine, isolation, and treatment facilities; the capability to mount contact tracing; availability of personal protective equipment (PPEs) to frontliners, and the testing capacity of the country
  • Social factors
  • Economic factors
  • Security factors

Panelo said the President has asked the public to follow the protocols and procedures established by the national government “to ensure the success of our fight against the pandemic."

“They were placed there for the protection and survival of everyone. Any transgressor will be dealt with in accordance with law,” he said.

The Philippines has so far recorded 3,660 COVID-19 cases with 163 deaths and 73 recoveries. -NB, GMA News