Too early to say if ECQ will be lifted or extended beyond April 14 --DOH

THE Department of Health yesterday said it’s too early to say if the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) would be over soon.

Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said they could not forecast yet if the ECQ could be lifted or extended beyond April 14.

“Maaga pa [para ma-assess]. Tandaan po natin ang China, ‘yung kanilang Wuhan ay nag-umpisa ng kanilang lockdown Jan. 23 and, in fact, restricted pa rin. Ibig sabihin hindi pa rin completely lifted ang lockdown nila after two months. Kahit na single digit na lang ang kanilang reported new cases ay hindi pa rin po sila nag-completely lift ng lockdown,” he said.

Duque noted that the number of COVID-19 cases in China peaked three weeks after it implemented community-wide quarantine protocols.

President Rodrigo Duterte said the enhanced community quarantine period over Luzon would last until April 14.

As of Monday morning, the Philippines recorded 1,418 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 71 deaths and 42 recoveries. There are currently 874 persons under investigation and 6,321 persons under monitoring.

Meanwhile, the health chief said the COVID-19 fatality rate in the country has decreased from 8% to 5%.

However, he noted that the change is still due to rising number of confirmed cases vis-a-vis the reported deaths.

“Ang desisyon para itigil na itong lockdown o ipagpatuloy ay nakasalalay sa tamang status ng COVID-19 sa Pilipinas na ang testing ang cornerstone sa pagbibigay basehan,” Duque said.