Duque to push ECQ status anew for metro

HEALTH Secretary Francisco T. Duque III assured healthcare workers that he would put forward to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases the medical frontliners’ suggestion that Metro Manila be once again placed under enhanced community quarantine amid the continued rise in the number of COVID-19 cases.

“We hear you. Fellow health workers, please know that as the Secretary of Health, I hear your pleas - and I will present these to the IATF. We have noted in particular your call for a time-out for the NCR. We will bring it to the full attention of the IATF and present to them more comprehensive strategies to protect our ranks,” he said in a statement Saturday.

Thanking healthcare workers for their work and continuing sacrifice, Duque also assured them that the department continues to “care for our carers.”

“The Department of Health, as the lead of the Task Group on Response Operations, will… ensure that the national government will provide comprehensive support. In response to your call, we commit to do more to “care for our carers” with detailed plans for support – from easier actions such as facilitating lodging, transportation, PPE and food,” he said.

The health chief further said the department is pushing for more systematic reforms on compensation and benefits, including necessary network-based changes to healthcare practice.

Duque also assured that DOH is working with the National Task Force in effectively implementing localized lockdowns and ensure that comprehensive support is provided by the national government.

“We will revisit and include the inputs we have gathered in our overall gameplan. The DOH will develop this strategy in coordination with our government and non-government counterparts in the next 7 days,” the secretary said.

No matter the odds, no matter how bleak it might have looked before, this battle is not hopeless. Let us start today to rally ourselves to stem the tide of rising cases, and ultimately win against this coronavirus war. Maraming salamat po at mabuhay ang ating mga healthcare workers!” he added.