Manila Bulletin

Health experts favor ECQ extension in NCR


An infectious disease expert believes that the implementa­tion of the strictest quarantine classifica­tion in Metro Manila should be extended as cases of coronaviru­s disease (COVID-19) continue to increase.

“I am for the extension of the ECQ (enhanced community quarantine). Cases are still going up, most hospitals – both government and private hospitals – are already in full capacity,” said Dr. Rontgene Solante, chief of the Adult Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine unit at the San Lazaro Hospital in Manila, in a text message to Manila Bulletin on Sunday, August 15.

“With five days to go for this ECQ until August 20, I don’t see it will be enough to see cases going down,” he added.

Solante said there should be “stricter implementa­tion” of ECQ.

“As we observed, there are still more people going out as (if) there is no ECQ,” he said.

The member of the country's Vaccine Expert Panel (VEP) said that it is best for the public to stay at home if they do not have important things to do outdoors.

“The public should be advised again and again to stay at home if they are not APOR (Authorized Persons Outside Residence),” he said.

“For those going out every day, (they) must follow strictly the health protocol. Those with symptoms must right away get tested,” he added.

Health reform advocate Dr. Tony Leachon is also in favor of extending the imposition of ECQ in Metro Manila.

“The genuine ECQ should be done to arrest this surge to save more lives and not overwhelm our healthcare system. This is the most important reason why I will support the extension of ECQ beyond August 20,” said Leachon also in a text message.

He urged the government to intensify its contact tracing and testing efforts.

“Positivity rate has been progressiv­ely increasing since April but our testings have been low. Our contact tracings are non-existent,” he said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines