By Jose Francisco Santiago
Last April 20, CCARPH Scientist Dr. John Wong was one of the health experts invited to meet with President Duterte to help decide on the next steps for the ongoing Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon . Together with the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on COVID-19, health and policy experts presented their findings on the efficacy of the ECQ to the President and their projections on the various possible scenarios surrounding the implementation of the ECQ. They warned against a premature termination of the ECQ, which could potentially lead to another spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country. Instead, they pushed for a modified community quarantine, wherein restrictions on social distancing measures are to be gradually relaxed in areas where there are few cases.
President Duterte and the IATF announced on April 24 the extension of the ECQ in NCR and other high-risk regions until May 15, 2020 while relaxing the restrictions in regions where there was a low number of cases.