DILG chief: Gov’t can’t risk ‘relapse’ in deciding quarantine timeframe

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 04 2020 06:39 PM | Updated as of Apr 04 2020 10:39 PM

Secretary Eduardo Año said efforts would go to waste should authorities make the mistake of lifting the Luzon-wide quarantine prematurely. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA--The head of the Department of the Interior and Local Government on Saturday said lifting the Luzon-wide quarantine too soon would amount to a "relapse" in the national government's efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID 19).

Secretary Eduardo Año said efforts to contain COVID-19 would go to waste should authorities make the mistake of lifting the Luzon-wide quarantine prematurely. 

"If i-lift, masasayang ang ating efforts. Otherwise magkakaroon ng relapse, which we may find it hard to contain kasi hindi pa tayo nakakarating doon na pigilan natin kung ire-relax natin," he told radio DZMM Saturday. 

The inter-agency task force said it would resort to a science-based approach in deciding whether to end or prolong the quarantine.

Año said the completion of facilities for persons under monitoring, under investigation and those positive for the disease should be considered in the decision. 

" 'Yung COVID-19 hospitals kaya ba 'yan nang kahit mag-lift tayo ng lockdown handa ang ating gobyerno na matugunan sa possible surge?" Año said. 

He estimates that the total of coronavirus cases would have shot up to 20,000 if the lockdown on Luzon was not placed. Luzon was placed on enhanced community quarantine when health authorities tallied 49 cases, he noted.