Longer lockdown buys time for testing, business reset: Duterte adviser


Posted at Apr 24 2020 03:50 PM

Longer lockdown buys time for testing, business reset: Duterte adviser 1
Philippine Army personnel man checkpoints in  Barangay Maricaban in Pasay City on April 22, 2020. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The 15-day extension of the COVID-19 lockdown in Metro Manila and other areas will allow the Philippines to build its testing capacity and increase the chances of an early economic recovery, an adviser to President Rodrigo Duterte said Friday.

Duterte extended the so-called enhanced community quarantine in high risk areas until May 15 and placed the rest of the country under a looser general quarantine.

“I suppose we’re not going to go beyond 2 months, I’m confident that 2 months is enough time to have a, what I call it, super reset...I think the two additional weeks will strengthen our capacity once more and give us greater confidence ,” said Presidential adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion. 

“Testing allows us to open up the economy. If we increase the testing capacity in the country, then it allows us to open the economy much more,” he added. 

Barangays should be more “vigilant” in identifying and reporting cases so that a community-type quarantine could be imposed in place of city or province-wide restrictions, he said.

A business community-led rapid testing in the barangay level will likely begin in May, with the aim of helping employers test workers and identify those who have antibodies to fight the disease, Concepcion said.

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