DOH: Quarantine extension too early to forecast

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The Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III said it is too early to forecast whether there would be enhanced community quarantine extension, Monday.

“Maaga pa [para ma-assess]. Tandaan po natin ang China, ‘yung kanilang Wuhan ay nag-umpisa ng kanilang lockdown January 23 and, in fact, restricted pa rin. Ibig sabihin hindi pa rin completely lifted ang lockdown nila after two months,” Duque said in an interview on Dobol B sa News TV.

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(It’s too early to assess. Let’s remember China, as their Wuhan starts their lockdown on January 23, and it is still restricted. That means they still haven’t lifted their lockdown after two months.)

“Kahit na single-digit na lang ang kanilang reported new cases ay hindi pa rin po sila nag-completely lift ng lockdown,” he added.

(Even with the single-digit of their reported new cases, they have not completely lifted their lockdown.)

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He highlighted China’s peak in COVID-19 cases occurred three weeks after it implemented lockdown protocols.

Also read: DOH approves Davao City COVID-19 testing lab

Quarantine extension too early to forecast

The Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine is scheduled to end by April 14. However, it is still uncertain whether it would be lifted or extended.

As of March 29,2020, the Philippines has 1,418 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 71 deaths, and 42 recoveries.

Meanwhile, Duque said the pandemic coronavirus’ fatality rate in the Philippines has decreased from 8% to 5%. The country’s testing capability is now up to 1,000 per day from 300.

Duque also reiterated the real-time status of COVID-19 in the country could only be determined after the RITM completes its backlog on testing.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine committed to complete all its backlogs by the end of March.

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