Is it too early to lift the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in areas seriously affected byCOVID-19? With how our mass testing is going, frankly, any lifting will be too soon. But if the people’s outcry isn’t enough, maybe we can have our officials check out this alarming study by University of the Philippines professors.
According to GMA News Online, a study led by Dr. Guido David, Prof. Ranjit Rye and Ma. Patricia Agbulos reveals that “a premature relaxation of the ECQ in the National Capital Region (NCR) may result in the escalation of 24,000 cases and 1,700 deaths by Jun. 15, 2020.”
Titled “COVID-19 Forecasts in the Philippines: Sub-National Models for NCR and other Selected Areas,” this paper also discusses how we’re bound to face another wave or surge in transmissions should the ECQ be lifted soon. This can trigger further costly interventions and, as expected, lead tomore deaths.
What route should the government take, then? These UP profs have a couple of recommendations. Aside from extending the ECQ in the NCR and current high-risk areas, mass testing should, again, be expanded so as to detect even those with asymptomatic cases.
Our officials should also invest in more personal protective equipment (PPEs), laboratories and a stricter contact tracing system. Of course, provisions for food and other basic needs should be ensured, and quarantine policies should be aligned with civil rights and due process. After all, the enemy is the virus—not the people.
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