MANILA – The Duterte government has no regrets implementing strict and extended quarantine protocols to stop the further spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in the country, Malacañang said on Wednesday.
In an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the government’s ultimate goal is to protect Filipinos against Covid-19.
Roque said the Philippines has implemented one of the world’s toughest and longest quarantine restrictions amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I don’t think there’s any regret about what we have implemented. We have protected our people and we’re hoping that in the near future, we will recover from the economic losses that we suffered because of the policy decision to uphold the right to life,” he said.
It was in March when President Rodrigo Duterte placed the entire Luzon under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), the most stringent quarantine measure, to combat Covid-19.
However, the specter of economic collapse prompted Duterte to eventually ease quarantine rules in the country.
Roque said the government made the “right move” because the Philippines has recorded lesser deaths compared to other nations, such as the United States, which has reported more than 100,000 deaths due to Covid-19.
As of Tuesday, a total of 26,781 Covid-19 infections have been recorded in the Philippines. Some 1,103 Covid-19 patients have died, while 6,552 people have recovered from the disease.
“We made the right move because, in terms of death, we have had in excess of a thousand, compare it to the hundreds of thousands that have already died just like in the United States,” he said.
On Monday night, Duterte placed Cebu and Talisay cities under ECQ and modified ECQ (MECQ), respectively, until June 30.
The general community quarantine (GCQ) was imposed in Metro Manila, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Santiago City, Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Tarlac, Olongapo City, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon, Occidental Mindoro, Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental, Siquijor, Mandaue City, Lapu-Lapu City, Zamboanga City, and Davao City.
The rest of the country was put under modified GCQ (MGCQ), the most relaxed community quarantine implemented by the government.
Roque reiterated that local government units could impose “localized lockdowns” in areas that have high cases of Covid-19.
“That’s why we’re exploring now the localized lockdown,” he said.
On Tuesday, Malacañang said the Philippines is making significant strides in the fight against the Covid-19.
The Palace noted that the rate of doubling of Covid-19 cases in the country has slowed down further to 10 days and that less than 10 people are dying daily of Covid-19.