Duterte to decide Luzon lockdown fate on April 23

Aika Rey
Duterte to decide Luzon lockdown fate on April 23
This is according to his former aide, Senator Bong Go, who says the President is studying a partial lifting of the lockdown

MANILA, Philippines – Former presidential aide Senator Christopher “Bong” Go said that President Rodrigo Duterte will decide on the fate of the Luzon lockdown on Thursday, April 23, hinting that a modified lockdown may be in place.

In an interview with radio dzMM, Go said that Duterte will meet again with the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases to determine the new ramifications of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the island region.

The lockdown is supposed to end on April 30.

Right now, the President is “studying” the possibility of its partial lifting for cities and provinces that had no coronavirus cases in the past two weeks, according to Go. “Ngayon po ay pinag-aaralang mabuti at ngayong huwebes ay magdedesisyon ang Pangulo…para bigyan pa ng sapat na panahon ang ating mga kababayan para makapag-adjust. Meron pa isang linggo para sa maaaring modified quarantine sa kanilang lugar,” said Go, who was the President’s long-time aide before becoming a senator.

(The partial lifting of the lockdown is being studied and this coming Thursday, the President will decide on it…so we can give the citizens the time to adjust. There is still a week before the possible modified quarantine in their areas.)

Go hinted that if the lockdown is extended in Metro Manila, its implementation will be “stricter.”

“Kung ma-extend ang ECQ sa Metro Manila, maaaring higpitan pa ito, dahil ‘di kakayanin ng healthcare system kung tataas pa ito (cases),” the senator said.

While the lockdown in some areas may be lifted, Go said Filipinos could not go back to normal right away.

“Hindi ibig sabihin na modified, eh normal na uli. Mahirap na po bumalik sa normal. Marami pong protocols, lalo na social disctancing,” Go said. (It doesn’t mean that if there will be a modified lockdown, it’s going to be back to normal. It’s difficult to go back to normal. There will be a lot of protocols, like social distancing.)

Duterte on Monday met with health and disaster experts to decide on the next moves post-April 30. 

Experts have so far recommended a “modified” enhanced community quarantine, which Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said is among the options being considered by the IATF.

As of Tuesday, the Philippines has 6,599 coronavirus cases, 437 of whom have died of the virus. – Rappler.com

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Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.