Last night, our dearest President Rodrigo Duterte announced that the Philippine government does not have enough funds to support the livelihood of the people in the areas of Luzon that has been the most affected by this 2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) infection.
In his televised speech, he said that he is inclined to have the Luzon lockdown extended for at least 15 more days. This was confirmed by Karlo Nograles, the Secretary of the Cabinet and the Spokesperson of the COVID-19 Task Force.
Read more about that here: Not Enough Gov’t Funds to Fight Against COVID-19, Duterte
Nograles said that after Duterte’s announcement, they verified and clarified whether or not the lockdown will be extended. In which the President said that it needs to be extended up until April 30th, 2020.
Pagkatapos ng kanyang announcement ay vinerify po namin ulit at ang sagot po ay, ang enhanced community quarantine is hereby extended until 11:59 pm of April 30.”
In Translation: After his [President Duterte’s] speech, we verified and his answer was yes, that the enhanced community quarantine is hereby extended until the 30th of April, 11:59 P.M.
What things would change having the Luzon lockdown extended?
For all questions, what’s happening now would continue. There’ll still be military checkpoints in places for observances; the mass movement of people from one point to another is also prohibited, and many other things that we are experiencing now.
That being said, the Social Amelioration Program offered by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) that would be good for two (2) months would be effective.
Visayas and Mindanao are both not as bad as Luzon. So, Nograles said that there’s no actual need to extend it to the 2 islands. However, he said that medical experts and researchers are still checking and observing the islands for cases.
With the COVID-19 infecting about 3,660 people as of today, it’s one of the most feared events in history. It had caused a total of 150+ fatalities and less than a hundred people have recovered.
The reason for the extension of the Luzon lockdown
One of the primary reasons for the extension, as per Nograles is because of the medical capabilities of the Philippines. As of now, there are only ten (10) certified and authorized labs that can provide legitimate COVID-19 testing; this totals 2,000 tests per day.
With the extension, laboratories around the entire country would be able to generate and perform anywhere around 13,000 to 20,000 tests per day; their target? April 27, 2020.
In addition to that, the fear that people with the virus is still lurking around overtakes the entire Health Department (DOH). They explained that having the Luzon lockdown extended until April 30th, the government would be able to improve the testing capacity as well as the test results release.
The Philippines’ game plan
Moreover, the pace of the recovery would also be hastened in the process. That being said, there will be faster isolation processes as well as faster construction of quarantine facilities. With these in place, the Philippine government looks to buy the needed time to reach the climactic number of patients infected with the disease.
Iyun po ang game plan. We need to push the peak kasi hindi pa natin nakikita ang peak. Kung lahat po ito ay magagawa natin, sinasabi ng mga eksperto maaari nating ma-push pa lalo ang peak ng COVID-19 dito sa Pilipinas as far as 2021. Sana by that time makapaghanap na ng vaccine ang mundo.”
In Translation: That’s the game plan. We need to push the peak because we still haven’t seen the peak of this outbreak. If each and everyone of us would follow and abide by the tips of experts, then there’s a chance that we’ll see the peak of the COVID-19 here in the Philippines as far as 2021. Hopefully, by that time, the world will have a vaccine for the COVID-19.
The problem with the Luzon lockdown extension
One problem that our country will face if the lockdown keeps on extending would be the capabilities of the poor to suffice their need. As of today, several agencies of the government as well as some members of the Cabinet including our President himself, pledged to help by giving a portion of their salaries to the people who are in dire need of it.
What do you think about having the Luzon lockdown extended until the end of the month? Can this be a good way to contain the disease? Would this be effective for the country to battle the infamous virus infection? Hopefully, our country would be able to figure out a way to beat this deadly virus.