Duterte mulls extended lockdown in Philippines

Posted: Apr 06, 2020 13:01 Category: Asia, Posted by Maria Debrincat

Extension of enhanced community quarantine for a minimum of two more weeks is being considered

Community quarantine was announced on the 12th of March, implemented 48 hours after, for Metro Manila which includes suspension of all air, sea and land domestic travel, banning of all mass gatherings and strict implementation of social distancing. An enhanced community quarantine or ECQ was further announced few days later for the whole island of Luzon, prompting the suspension of all non-essential businesses including PAGCOR operated and regulated casinos, online casino operations, bingo boutiques and other betting sites.

PAGCOR operated and regulated casinos, have subsequently been ordered to suspend operations in all major island groups outside of Luzon.

sigma 4362x1024 Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the Philippine president has received advice from experts that lifting the ECQ by 12 April, may be premature. He also said Duterte will decide on the extension “in due time”.

Panelo was recorded by Philippine News Agency saying that the premature lifting, “might wipe out the gains we have so far achieved in containing the virus.

“The President is all ears and eyes on this unfolding reality and expert opinions. He is evaluating the best option to take that will effectively ensure the success of our war against this wily and faceless global enemy. He will make his decision in due time.

“In the meantime, we call on our countrymen to be steadfast in our commitment to take care of each other in this imminent threat to our nation’s survival.”

The ECQ is set to be lifted by April 12, but the National Task Force Covid-19 Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. had earlier said that the national government is currently studying whether an extension of 15 or 20 days is essential.

PAGCOR earlier filed an appeal to the Interagency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases to allow several “high-earning” gambling operations for revenue to assist in the funding of the fight against Covid-19. The agency has donated a total of P8.5 billion ($170 million), remitted P12 billion ($240 million) cash revenues and facilitated millions of donations from gaming companies for the aid in efforts to mitigate the Covid-19 impact.

As of Sunday, the Philippines has recorded a total of 3,264 cases with 152 deaths.


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