Duterte urges IATF to look into the plea of medical frontliners


MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte told the COVID-19 task force to look into the plea of medical frontliners. This is after the said group requested for the comeback of the enhanced community quarantine to mitigate the health crisis.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque spoke to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases after hearing the medical sector.

Roque quickly announced the development of the plea after consolidating sentiments from both parties.

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“President Duterte has heard the concerns of the medical community…” Roque said. “The Chief Executive has directed the IATF to act on these concerns immediately.”

He added, “The Palace considers our skilled, tireless and dedicated healthcare workers as important frontliners in the battle against COVID-19.”

The spokesperson clarified that the suggestion is now part of the discussion within IATF.

“We are grateful for their immense contributions to heal our people and our nation during these difficult times,” he said. “Your voices have been heard. We cannot afford to let down our modern heroes. This is our commitment.”

Earlier, the Philippine College of Physicians urged authorities to bring back the ECQ in Metro Manila. This is due to the rise of COVID-19 cases amid the relaxing of quarantine. This has caused unprecedented pressure to medical frontliners anew.

DTI to the plea of medical frontliners

On the other hand, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez opposed the idea of shifting to stricter lockdowns in the country’s capital.

He argued that the economic cost of that action would way down any gains that is attached to the decision.

“We cannot go back to ECQ. (It would be) damaging to people’s health with unemployment and poverty affecting health and wellness and nutrition intake. It will affect long-term health and capacity to learn for children,” Lopez said.

Meanwhile, Roque earlier said, “Community quarantine alone, we repeat, is an insufficient response in controlling COVID-19.”