Health professionals bat for ‘cautious easing’ of COVID-19 quarantine

The Health Professionals Alliance Against COVID-19 (HPAAC) said that the easing of community quarantine restrictions should be done cautiously as thousands of people are still being infected daily with the new coronavirus.


Philippine College of Physicians (PCP) Vice President Maricar Limpin said that community quarantine measures must be eased in a careful manner.

“Ang recommendation natin ay huwag agad-agad mag loosen up ang quarantine measure kasi sa ngayon, mataas pa talaga ang COVID-cases, nandoon palang tayo sa start bumaba [Our recommendation is not to immediately loosen up the quarantine measure because right now, we are still seeing high number of COVID cases. The declining of cases is just starting],” said Limpin, who is also co-convenor of HPAAC, in an online forum Tuesday, September 22.

“Maybe when [it] comes to a point na talagang mababa na ang cases [where the cases are really low] then that’s the time na medyo pwede mag loosen up ng quarantine measures [to slightly loosen up the quarantine measures],” she added.

Limpin said that they observed that some people are still not adhering to the different health protocols, citing as an example the recent scenario in Manila Bay “white sand beach” wherein a large group of people violated physical distancing rules.

The doctor said that physical distancing and wearing of face masks and face shields are “very effective as means of controlling the pandemic.”

The observance of health protocols can also help in preventing the transmission of other diseases, said Philippine Society of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (PSMID) President Dr. Issa Alejandria.

“Yung mga ginagawang protective measures ngayon, hindi lang COVID ang napi-prevent, lahat ng respiratory infection, lalo na ang TB (tuberculosis) [These protective measures can prevent not only COVID, but also respiratory infections especially TB],” she said.

Limpin said that there should be a balance between health and economy.

“Let us stop competing or trying to fight over health (versus) economy. Kailangan magsama ang dalawa and the only way to do that ay kung lahat tayo susunod sa mga dapat gawin sa workplace, school, public places, o kahit sa bahay mismo [The two must come together and the only way to do that is if we all follow what needs to be done in the workplace, school, public places, or even at home],” she said.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said last Monday that the government may further ease community quarantine restrictions in some parts of the country as COVID-19 cases have gradually decreased.





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