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Eleazar urges public to get used to checkpoints, curfews as no vaccine yet for COVID-19

The commander of Joint Task Force COVID Shield on Thursday called on the public to get used to the existence of checkpoints and the implementation of curfews in localities amid the threat of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

In a statement, Police Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar said checkpoints and curfews are part of the "new normal" until a vaccine for COVID-19 is made available to the public.

“We appeal to the public to get used to these checkpoints and curfew as part of the new normal. This is not about restraining their rights, this is all about ensuring the protection of everybody from coronavirus,” Eleazar said.

“The President himself and his crisis managers said that in lifting some restrictions, the minimum health standards should still be implemented such as wearing of face masks, observance of physical distancing and prohibition of unnecessary travel,” he added.

Eleazar said the conduct of checkpoints and implementation of curfew are part of the measures of preventing unnecessary travel among the public.

He added that the strict implementation of the community quarantine rules has been found to be effective in preventing more COVID-19 infections and deaths as revealed by the study of experts from the University of the Philippines.

So far, there are 4,398 quarantine control points and 115 dedicated control points nationwide. The QCPs are manned and supervised by the police and the military while the DCPs are manned and supervised by personnel from the Philippine National Police - Highway Patrol Group.

Community quarantines have been enforced since March 15 to prevent the spread of COVID-19. At present, there are more than 15,000 confirmed cases in the country.

The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases has recommended that Metro Manila and Davao City could be placed under general community quarantine from June 1 to 15. Both areas are currently under modified enhanced community quarantine.

According to presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, President Rodrigo Duterte will make an announcement on the recommendation of the IATF on Thursday night. — RSJ, GMA News