Total lockdown ‘an option:’ Palace

MANILA – Malacañang on Thursday raised the possibility that President Rodrigo Duterte might impose a “total lockdown,” in case the government fails to “flatten the curve” of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases in the country.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the proposed implementation of total lockdown is an “option,” considering that there are still many quarantine violators who continue to defy Duterte’s order to observe strict home quarantine.

“Kinu-konsidera ang total lockdown lalung-lalo na kung magpapatuloy ang mga pasaway sa ating kalsada (We are considering total lockdown, especially now that there are many people who are still loitering in the streets),” Roque said in a virtual presser aired on state-run PTV-4.

The entire Luzon and some parts of Visayas and Mindanao have been placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to contain the spread of Covid-19 in the country.

Implementing an ECQ means people are prohibited from leaving their homes, unless they have to access basic necessities or they are exempt from observing the quarantine protocols.

ECQ is deemed different from the proposed total lockdown, which bars people from going out of their homes and recommends the closure of all public establishments.

Roque clarified that there is no decision yet to implement a total lockdown.

“Siyempre po, isa iyang option na iku-konsidera, pero uulitin ko po, wala pa pong desisyon na mag-total lockdown. (That’s an option being considered, but I repeat, there is still no decision to impose a total lockdown),” he said.