MANILA, Philippines — The government can impose a “calibrated partial lifting” of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the Luzon region, Senator Francis Pangilinan proposed on Monday.
In an interview with CNN Philippines, Pangilinan said that the quarantine cannot be fully lifted as it would only result in another wave of spread of the disease; however, a partial lifting of the quarantine especially for essential services can be in place.
“Moving forward, there has to be a calibrated partial lifting of the lockdown. Partial, hindi pupwedeng dating gawi. Kinakailangan yung mga essential services lamang ang bubuksan (Partial only. Only essential services would be opened),” Pangilinan said.
“Mayroong patial lifting of this public transport ban pero dapat calibrated din yan na ‘yung mga taong kinakailangan lang na pumasok para magkaroon ng manufacturing para yung pagkain ay nade-deliver eventually ‘yan ang ating gagawin,” the senator added.
(There has to be a partial lifting of the public transport ban but it also has to be calibrated that only those who need to travel to manufacture food so that food can be delivered.)
In line with this, Pangilinan underscored the need for mass testing as well as other measures such as continued support for frontline workers and establishment of isolation centers.
“I think the ECQ, by and large, should be extended, but certain essential services should be allowed to begin to operate. But that requires private sector testing, that requires that more testing as we prepare for that calibrated lifting,” Pangilinan said.
“Without the mass testing, bulag tayo (we are blind). We don’t know who is infected, we don’t know how this is spreading and contact tracing and the isolation centers,” he added.
Likewise, Pangilinan also called on the national government to be “transparent” with its plans and measures.
“In the end, the best way to address this is to ensure that the government is able to communicate effectively its plans in a transparent manner and is able to distribute the cash assistance and the food packs in the locked down areas particularly in Metro Manila,” Pangilinan said.
As of April 19, there are 6,259 cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country, with the death toll reaching 409.
READ: PH COVID-19 cases rise to 6,259; DOH records 56 new recoveries
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