ECQ in Davao Region extended until April 26

J.P. Laurel Avenue, a main thoroughfare of Davao City, sans its pedestrians, jeepneys and taxis under enhanced community quarantine. MindaNews photo taken 16 April 2020 by MANMAN DEJETO

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 16 April) – All mayors and governors of Davao Region have agreed to extend the 15-day enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), which will end on April 19, for another seven days or until April 26, City Mayor Sara Duterte said.

In an interview over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR) 87.5 on Wednesday, Duterte, chair of the Davao Regional Task Force Covid-19, said the one-week extension across the region was necessary to decrease the number of patients infected with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Although health authorities here reported zero new cases on some days, Duterte said the number continued to rise, prompting them to suggest the extension.

“The number continues to increase gradually. There was a surge at the start and then it went down. After that, the cases were slowly increasing,” she said.

She added the local chief executives wanted a region-wide extension as an effective measure against the spread of the virus.

Davao City is considered the epicenter of COVID-19 infection not only in the region but also in the entire Mindanao after a number of those who went to the cock derby in Matina last month tested positive of the disease.

No locals and tourists this time taking their souvenir photographs of a well-lit city hall of Davao. MindaNews photo taken 16 April 2020 by MANMAN DEJETO

Duterte said guidelines on ECQ remain in force. Air, sea and land travels to Davao are still suspended, except for emergencies and medical purposes.

She said the city government and other local chief executives in the region vowed to continue the cash assistance to residents who are stranded in different parts of the country due to the lockdown.

“The doctors said they couldn’t enter Davao Region. What we can do for them, we have list of their names, we will continue to send them support for the duration of ECQ,” she added.

The city government listed 206 individuals stranded in various areas in the country, according to Duterte.

She said the city government would start the distribution of 428,571 grocery packs to the residents on Monday. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)