Palace junks front-liners’ call for ECQ, ‘timeout’

Palace junks front-liners’ call for ECQ, ‘timeout’

MANILA – Malacanang Palace has rejected the call from the medical community for Metro Manila to return to enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and recalibrate the country’s strategies in the fight against coronavirus.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the present general community quarantine (GCQ) classification over NCR has already been a subject of “discussion and debate” among the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).

“The strict lockdown in Metro Manila has served its purpose, and we need to intensify other strategies,” Roque said adding that Malacanang is at present carefully balancing public health and economic health of NCR and Calabarzon.

“The Palace understands the delicate balancing act between public health and the economic health of the nation given that Metro Manila and Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) make up 67 percent of our economy,” Roque stressed.

The Presidential spokesman’s statement was made as around 40 medical societies wrote President Rodrigo Duterte, Covid-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. and Health Secretary Francisco Duque 3rd an open letter stating that the country’s healthcare system is already “bursting at the seams” and that a “timeout” through stricter quarantine measures is needed.

Of the same discussion, a certain Luis Jr Adriano commented on Facebook thus:

“I have earlier commented that M. M.M. (Mega-Metro Manila) should return to ECQ for 30 days. We need to sacrifice and terrible hardship to overcome such contagious virus. It is a big mistake to have relaxed the control system in M. M.M. Why the government chose economy over life. If only the build, build, build will be suspended for a year and instead convert the fund to amelioration for the needy in an orderly and proper manner, if only those who have will shell out money to raise a common fund just like what Veritas and ABS CBN are doing, then, recovery from the pandemic will be faster. The bigger if is for the LGUs and National government to avoid getting cuts from the funds coming from loans and contributions. These crocs are the other bigger problem.” (MTVN)

The Philippine College of Physicians’ letter to PRRD, Sec. Galvez, and Sec. Duque is attached:

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