Duterte orders IATF to reconsider imposing ECQ in NCR

Duterte orders IATF to reconsider imposing ECQ in NCR

President Rodrigo Duterte. (Presidential photo)

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to reconsider tightening the community quarantine status in Metro Manila to enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), Malacañang said on Saturday.

This, after medical front-liners called on the Duterte government to impose ECQ in Metro Manila from August 1 to 15 due to the continuing spike in the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infections in the country’s metropolis.

“President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has heard the concerns of the medical community and the Chief Executive has directed the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases to act on these concerns immediately,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press statement.

In a taped public address aired on Friday, Duterte announced that Metro Manila would be under general community quarantine (GCQ), third to the most stringent community quarantine imposed by the government, until August 15.

Duterte’s announcement came despite Malacañang’s repeated statements that Metro Manila might be placed once again under ECQ, the strictest quarantine classification.

Several medical workers who are helping the government fight Covid-19 have asked Duterte to consider their appeal to implement ECQ in Metro Manila from August 1 to 15.

Dr. Mario Panaligan, president of the Philippine College of Physicians, appealed for the reimposition of ECQ in Metro Manila, saying the medical professionals are already “tired.”

“We propose that the two-week ECQ be used as a time out to refine our pandemic control strategies,” Panaligan said in an August 1 letter backed by other health organizations.

Roque said the Palace acknowledges the “skilled, tireless and dedicated” health care workers in the country as “important front-liners in the battle against Covid-19.”

“We are grateful for their immense contributions to heal our people and our nation during these difficult times. Your voices have been heard. We cannot afford to let down our modern heroes. This is our commitment,” he said.

As of July 31, Metro Manila, the epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country, has recorded a total of 50,611 confirmed Covid-19 cases, according to the Covid-19 tracker uploaded on the official website of the Department of Health. (PNA)

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