Ano says lifting quarantine on April 13 needs to be assessed
Interior Secretary Eduardo Ano on Wednesday said lifting of the enhanced community quarantine on April 13 is possible but it still needs to undergo assessment as the government is aiming to lessen the increasing number of COVID-19 patients.
The enhanced community quarantine was imposed last March 17 as the number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines increased. According to the Department of Health the confirmed cases are 636, with 38 deaths and 26 patients who recovered.
“That, we have to assess but I’m confident we can… but of course it does not mean that’s the end of the spread. We have to still continue the practice of strict social distancing… for other islands also, social distancing is important if they did not impose lockdown,” Ano said in a press briefing.
Ano said the one-month lockdown aims to flatten the curve of infected patients so doctors can treat positive and serious cases.
“First of all, what do we expect to achieve after one month of quarantine?… let me remind everyone that we are always one step ahead from others like Spain, Italy or US… if we do not implement draconian measures like this, we would be ending like at least half of Italy’s condition now because of the exponential growth of this virus,” he said.
Ano said according to the World Health Organization, COVID-19 cases in the country can reach up to 75,000 positive patients with three percent mortality and five percent severe or serious conditions if the government did not do anything.
“If we did not do any measures, in three to five months we will have 75,000 positive cases,” he said.
He said the country may face the same fate as Italy.
“Because if we reach the point that we are not capable enough. We'll be like Italy that will just let people die…and because we are not a very rich country who can conduct massive tests… the solution for us is to really impose the enhanced community quarantine so everybody will keep distance and lock inside their homes,” Ano said.
“Social distancing was also done in Italy but did not work because people will always violate social distancing. Even here in our country, we are now on lockdown but there are still violators… draconian measures are needed to flatten the curb and contain, if not eliminate, the spread of the virus,” he added. Ella Dionisio/DMS