Nograles: Extension of ECQ until mid-May fake news

April 18, 2020
Karlo Nograles

CABINET Secretary Karlo Nograles on Saturday vehemently denied he had told businessmen that the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon will be extended until mid-May.

Nograles merely dismissed as “fake, false, and untrue” the supposed plan to extend the ECQ anew.

“Napakalayo sa katotohanan (This is far from the truth). This is totally false, totally untrue, totally fake. So huwag na po nating patulan iyan (Just ignore it),” he said in a virtual presser aired on state-run PTV-4.

Nograles issued the statement after being asked if he had really informed businessmen about President Rodrigo Duterte's willingness to order another extension of ECQ until mid-May.

Nograles reiterated that the small group formed by Duterte has yet to present its possible recommendations with regard to ECQ’s fate.

He added that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) still has to deliberate on the recommendations that will be presented by the small group.

“Sa Lunes, pagu-usapan namin at ire-rekomenda pa namin ito kay Pangulo. At ultimately, si Pangulo ang magde-desisyon (We will discuss it on Monday. We will then make a recommendation to the President. Ultimately, the President will be the one to decide),” Nograles, spokesperson of IATF-EID, said.

The ECQ in Luzon to contain the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in the country is expected to end on April 30.

The Luzon-wide ECQ might either be partially lifted, totally lifted, or extended anew, depending on the IATF-EID’s recommendations that will be transmitted to Duterte.

The government has to consider five parameters, which include the “trends in the Covid-19 epidemiological curve, the capacity of the health care system, and the social, economic, and security factors,” in deciding on the fate of ECQ in Luzon.

Not powerless vs. Covid-19

Nograles maintained that the country’s fight against Covid-19 would be successful if everyone cooperates with the government.

He said the country is “not powerless” against Covid-19 because there are several ways to arrest the spread of the contagion.

He said Covid-19 deaths could be prevented when people heed the government’s quarantine protocols.

“Each loss cannot be quantified; they hurt us all. But we are not powerless against this disease; we can do something about it,” Nograles said.

Nograles then reiterated his call on the public to follow the ECQ guidelines.

“Sundin ang ECQ. Manatili sa bahay, Mag-hugas ng kamay (Follow ECQ. Stay at home. Wash your hands),” he said.

The Philippines has so far reported 5,878 Covid-19 infections, with 387 deaths and 487 recoveries. (PNA)