Quarantine has been extended until April 30. President Duterte approved an extension of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon according to cabinet secretary Karlo Nograles. In response to the rising number of COVID-19 cases, which is 3,660 at the time of this article’s writing. Metro Manila’s people and cars would have to endure a bit longer in order to curb the spread of the virus.
Specifically, the ECQ will last until 11:59 p.m., April 30, 2020, and will only encompass the Luzon region. Mobility will remain limited since public transportation services are still suspended. Exemptions for front-liners and health workers are still in place, however. Traveling for the purchase of essential goods, such as food and medicine, is still allowed. All rules and regulations are the same for the most part.
With over 3000 cases in the Philippines and 163 deaths with only 73 recoveries, there is a big chance that the quarantine period could still last longer than expected, even beyond the month of April. Over a million people have been infected by this virus around the world, which makes it a serious threat to public health and safety that should not be taken lightly.
Unnecessary trips during this period should be avoided, as people still run the risk of contracting the virus even while inside an automobile. Going out should be done sparingly and only when a supply run is to be conducted. Only certain cars – that are few and far between – have the proper hardware to defend against pathogens through the use of specialized air filtration systems, but most normal cars on the road only use particulate filters that are limited in their effectiveness against viruses.
Sad news to hear, however, the silver lining is that caution is being exercised in the interest of public health and safety. Other countries have also exercised longer periods of quarantine in order to mitigate the threat that COVID-19 poses.