Duterte Cabinet To Tackle Frontliners Appeal for Stricter Quarantine Amidst Rising COVID-19 Cases

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President Rodrigo Duterte will meet with key Cabinet members on Sunday to discuss medical workers’ appeal to reimpose the most strict enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila until August 15 to mitigate the rise in coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases in the country.


Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this statement after selected Cabinet members held their own meeting on Saturday night to discuss the medical workers’ letter indicating that they are already “tired” of waging a losing battle without definitive plans to address the pandemic.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this statement after selected Cabinet members held their own meeting on Saturday night to discuss the medical workers’ letter indicating that they are already “tired” of waging a losing battle without definitive plans to address the pandemic.

“The President will meet today (Sunday) with key Cabinet members to discuss yesterday’s letter from the front-liners. I will make the proper announcement in due course,” Roque said in a Viber message to reporters.

On Saturday, Roque said Cabinet members present during the meeting were himself and fellow secretaries Wendel Avisado (Budget), Ramon Lopez (Trade), Francisco Duque (Health), Eduardo Año (Interior) and Delfin Lorenzana (Defense).

Also present were National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., NTF Against Covid-19 deputy chief implementer, and testing czar Vince Dizon, Health Undersecretary and treatment czar Leopoldo Vega, Roque said.

Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Michael Ong, Presidential Assistant for Foreign Affairs Robert Borje, and Senate health committee chairperson Christopher Lawrence Go were also included in the meeting, he added.

Frontliners Appeal for Stricter Quarantine2

The new quarantine classification in Metro Manila came despite Malacañang’s previous statement that a stricter community quarantine might be implemented in the country’s metropolis if the situation worsens.

Roque did not mention whether the Cabinet members’ recommendation on Metro Manila’s fate has already been reviewed by Duterte.

Last Thursday, Duterte placed Metro Manila under general community quarantine (GCQ) from August 1 to 15.

The new quarantine classification in Metro Manila came despite Malacañang’s previous statement that a stricter community quarantine might be implemented in the country’s metropolis if the situation worsens.

On Saturday, at least 80 medical associations representing thousands of doctors signed a letter calling for a “timeout” after the country posted a record single-day count of more than 4,000 new Covid-19 cases.

“Healthcare workers are united in sounding off a distress signal to the nation — our healthcare system has been overwhelmed,” the letter read.


On Saturday, at least 80 medical associations representing thousands of doctors signed a letter calling for a “timeout” after the country posted a record single-day count of more than 4,000 new Covid-19 cases.

They urged the government to “refine” pandemic control strategies and address problems such as hospital workforce efficiency; failure of contact tracing and quarantine; transportation safety; workplace safety; public compliance with self-protection; and social amelioration.

“Our health workers should not bear the burden of deciding who lives and who dies. If the health system collapses, it is ultimately our poor who are most compromised. In the end, winning the war against Covid-19 relies heavily on being able to keep our health system capacitated to address the needs of all Filipinos,” it added.

In response, Roque acknowledged that retaining the GCQ status in Metro Manila was the subject of “debate and discussion” by members of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).

“The Palace understands the delicate balancing act between public health and the economic health of the nation,” he said. (PNA)

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