President Rodrigo Duterte and the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) have extended the implemented ‘enhanced community quarantine,’ also known as lockdown, in Luzon.
From the original April 12 end, the ECQ in Luzon is now effective until April 30.
In a Laging Handa Briefing on April 7, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles officially announced the extension.
This is following President Duterte’s statement that he’s “inclined” to extend the Luzon lockdown.
“Iyong ECQ is up to April 30, 11:59pm. Ito ang rekomendayson ng IATF na tinanggap ni Pangulong Duterte at inannounce na niya kagabi (The ECQ is up to April 30, 11:59pm. This is the recommendation of the IATF that President Duterte accepted and already announced last night),” the Cabinet Secretary said.
Nograles added that there is no need yet to expand the lockdown to cover Visayas and Mindanao.
Luzon Lockdown Implications
The lockdown started in March 17. This extension means 57 million Luzon residents are going to endure a total of 44 days of isolation or in quarantine. All to help curb the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country.
What happens in a lockdown? Generally, the authorities have banned mass transportation. Barangay officials and the military man checkpoints at borders 24/7.
The public are only allowed to go out for running essential errands, such as buying food and other basic necessities.
However, essential employees can still continue with their duties as per usual.
“Such extension of the ECQ shall be without prejudice to the discretion of the President to relax the implementation of the ECQ in some local jurisdictions, or the granting of exemptions in favor of certain sectors, as public health considerations and food security may warrant,” according to Nograles in a virtual briefing this morning.
As of writing, the Department of Health has confirmed a total of 3,660 COVID-19 cases, with 163 total deaths and 73 recoveries.
Worldwide, the pandemic has infected a total of 1,345,048 people.