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Editorial | Rooting for a GCQ

Its not quite clear yet if we will see an easing of our present enhanced community quarantine even as Palace spokesperson Harry Roque announced the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Managing of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) for Region XI to revert to a general community quarantine.

Mayor Sara Duterte, in her regular radio program yesterday, said the city has yet to submit the report to the national government so we still do not know if we will be on GCQ until May 14. Be that as it may, we are all hoping that we are prepared to shift to a staggered opening of the local economy. This also means that our health support systems such as the quarantine facilities and testing centers are firmly in place.

Adhering to strict implementation of health safety standards should be the top priority of those businesses allowed to operate under GCQ. Transportation, especially Public Utility Jeepneys and tricycles should be monitored because in the absence of mass testing, there would be asymptomatic carriers who can easily infect others in these cramped public conveyances.

Even if we will be on GCQ, health protocols will not be relaxed, as others would think, because we still have a high rate of transmission and we have no way of knowing the actual figures. For now, people should be educated that there is only a very slight difference between ECQ and GCQ in terms of movement. Quarantine passes will still be in effect, wearing of masks in public will still be enforced, social distancing will be strictly imposed and only those considered essential businesses will be open. People cannot just rush to the malls, restaurants or coffee shops once we move to GCQ.

While we want COVID-19 to end, we should approach it with extreme caution. The experience of other countries should be our guidepost in facing this pandemic.

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