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Galvez recommends gradual lifting of ECQ to prevent resurgence of COVID-19 cases

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Chief implementer of the government’s COVID-19 response Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. has proposed the gradual lifting of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

In a meeting of the Inter-Agency Task Force with President Rodrigo Duterte, which was aired Tuesday morning, Galvez cited the advice of the World Health Organization (WHO) about easing measures.

“Some precautionary measures have been given by WHO with recommendation on easing of quarantine restriction,” he said.

“According to WHO, any plans to ease quarantine restriction should be carried out gradually and  in a phase manner—parang ‘yung hinay hinay lang po—to prevent resurgence of infections,” he added.

Galvez explained that the government cannot extend the ECQ period because the resources are very limited. “It has to balance between health and economy,” he said.

He noted that a strong and resilient system should be in place like testing and tracing to prevent  the resurgence of the disease.

“Our plan is COVID-carrier centric. We have to focus our intervention on the carriers. Our revised operational framework added the prevention prior detection phase and the adoption of end to end T3 management system for COVID carriers  which means test, trace, and treat mechanism,” he said.

The ECQ was previously extended until May 15 in the following areas:

  • Metro Manila
  • Central Luzon (except Aurora)
  • CALABARZON, Pangasinan
  • Benguet, Albay
  • Bacolod City
  • Iloilo province
  • Iloilo City
  • Cebu City
  • Cebu province
  • Zamboanga City
  • Davao City

The rest of the country has been placed under the less strict general community quarantine (GCQ).

Metro Manila mayors earlier recommended to the IATF three scenarios after the second extension of the ECQ ends on May 15.

The first recommendation is the extension of the ECQ for up to two weeks, or until the end of May. Second, the government to move Metro Manila from ECQ to GCQ. Third is for a modified combination of an ECQ and a GCQ.—AOL, GMA News

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