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Sara: ECQ inevitable at this point

As Davao City is preparing to undergo an enhanced community quarantine, the local government released some of the guidelines to take the sting out of the more stricter rules.

In her statement, Mayor Sara Duterte said the epidemiologist and infectious disease doctors have recommended the ECQ since they are not satisfied with the behavior of the community in following the safety measures.

“The doctors said we need to tighten up our control measures to mitigate the spread of the virus,” she said.

During the ECQ, mass transportation in the city will be suspended. No public utility jeepney or any other mass transportation will be allowed to operate. Few establishments will remain open as long as they are under the disaster, social services, health and security sectors.

Private sectors that are allowed to operate include groceries, supermarkets, wet markets/palengkes, food commissaries, food processing and manufacturing, food delivery services, wholesale food stores, convenience stores, sari-sari stores, hospitals, medical laboratories, pharmacies, drugstores, doctors and dentist clinics, other health personnel/services, banks and ATMs, savings and credit cooperatives, money-transfer services and bayad centers, courier services, other delivery services, gas stations, water refilling stations, LPG stations, business process outsourcing/call centers and mass media outlets.

Restaurants, cafes, eateries or karenderia, food stalls and other related establishments will be allowed to operate but only cater to take-out orders.

Employees who work for the said sectors will be allowed to go to work and may take the free bus transportation to their work. No work pass will be issued. A valid identification card should be presented to verify your work status.

The people are also given food and medicine (FM) passes for them to be allowed to go outside and buy the necessities. They should also have a valid ID when they go out, as well as face masks.

“There is no need to fear if Davao City will be placed under ECQ,” she said. “One or two members of the household can still go out using the food and medicine pass or FM pass.”

One FM pass will be distributed to a boarder, sharer or renter. One pass will also be given to each family, and one pass for an individual with no family and who leaves alone, including a senior citizen.

The ECQ will last until 11:59 on April 19, but may be extended to 11:59 on April 26, depending on the decision of the doctors. After it is lifted, Davao City may revert back to community quarantine.

“If there is no more Davaoeno who is infected, we can now lift the quarantine,” she said.

For now, Duterte is preparing the executive order to declare the ECQ.

No turning back

The mayor was hoping that Davao City would not reach the point where she had to declare the ECQ.

“What the doctors want to be done is to stop the time, to stop everything. All people must stop from moving so that they will not infect other people. All those people who need to be isolated should be put in isolation, so they will not infect others. That is what the doctors would want to happen,” she said.

Duterte said there are still many presumptive COVID-19 positive patients in Davao City that could not be traced. And they continue to infect others if they are not on self-isolation.

On late Tuesday night, the Department of Health (DOH)-Davao reported a total of 47 COVID-19 patients in Davao City bringing the total to 59 positive cases in Davao region. Eight of the 47 patients have been recorded as fatalities while six have recovered.

“From the start I have already said that we do not want to do all of these but the doctors have said that this is the only way to end the spread of the infection,” she said. (With Warren Elijah Valdez)

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