As ECQ end nears, wider mass virus testing pushed

first_imgResearchers work in a laboratory at the Philippine Genome Center on March 12, 2020. Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Sunday called for expanded mass testing for coronavirus disease ahead of the anticipated lifting of enhanced community quarantine. ABS-CBN NEWS “The premature lifting of the strict quarantine regulation could lead to a worse second COVID-19 wave,” Sotto said. MANILA – With areas under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) likely shifting to general community quarantine (GCQ), Senate President Vicente Sotto III underscored the need to expand mass testing for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). “Let us remember that even among the quarantined population, the threat that the virus had already invaded their communities and even homes without them being aware of it is also high,” Sotto said in a statement. He added that the outcome of COVID-19 mass testing will also warn government leaders against prematurely lifting the ECQ in Metro Manila and other high-risk areas. “Kung sila na nasa bahay lang at sumunod sa lahat ng health protocols ay nag-positive sa virus, siguradong mas malala ang pwedeng mangyari kung ma-lift na ang enhanced community quarantine at ang lahat ay papayagan ng lumabas ng kanilang mga bahay,” said Sotto. Just like in the Senate, according to Sotto, where 20 employees were tested positive for COVID-19 during a rapid testing conducted on staffers, who complied with the government’s order to stay home, did not get exposed to anyone with COVID-19, and did not show nor feel any symptoms of the highly contagious disease. Sotto said that the mass testing conducted by the Department of Health (DOH) in all provinces in the country should also be done to more people for a clearer picture of the extent of COVID-19’s transmission. Metro Manila and other high-risk areas remain under enhanced community quarantine until May 15. All other provinces are under the more relaxed general community quarantine until mid-May./PNlast_img