No recommendation yet on ECQ extension or lifting -- DILG

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has yet to come up with a recommendation to President Rodrigo Duterte regarding the possible extension or lifting of the enhanced community quarantine, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said on Tuesday.

Año bared that health experts, however, praised the enhanced community quarantine during their meeting with the President on Monday as it gained "a lot of good success".

Without the lockdown, Año said positive cases of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) could have surged to 80,000 with 5,000 deaths.

He added that the task force wants to increase the testing capacity of the country to up to 50 percent which is equivalent to 28,000 to 30,000 tests a day.

"Then, that is really a very good capacity that we can say we can really stop the spread of the virus," Año said in a TV interview.

Año, however, believes that the quarantine should not be lifted unless the country will be able to increase its testing capacity and appropriate measures will be implemented.

“Meron tayong mga kondisyon na dapat susundin ng mga tao, pag di yan sinunod wag na tayong mag lift ng lockdown... kasama na dyan ang physical social distancing. Protektahan ang mga elderly, ‘yung mga may (There are certain conditions that the people must comply with. If we cannot follow that, let's not lift the lockdown. That includes physical social distancing. Let's also protect the elderly and those with) health issues,” he added.

Currently, the DOH is capable of conducting 3,000 tests per day but the agency aims to increase capacity between 8,000 to 10,000 tests per day by the end of April. (PNA)