DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 13 May) – Mayor Sara Duterte’s 72-year-old mother, Elizabeth Zimmerman, has been complaining about the restrictions that prevented her and other senior citizens from leaving their residences amid the threat of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
In a live interview over Davao City Disaster Radio (87.5) on Wednesday, Duterte said her mother, former wife of President Rodrigo R. Duterte, has been insisting on going out but she could not do so since the enforcement of a community quarantine and later the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) that limited the movement of people to only buying essential items such as food and medicine to control the spread of the infection.
“My mother has been nagging at me. You are not the only one who’s complaining,” she said, referring to the general public. “Even my mother keeps on complaining every night when she sees me,” she added.
Duterte said her mother was prevented from leaving their house even if she insisted on having her personal protective equipment (PPE) made, and putting on goggles, shoe cover, and hairnet to get herself protected from the highly contagious infection.
“Do you know what I told her? ‘It is easy for you to say that. But don’t you know that it is hot when you put on [the PPE], you cannot breathe. Why will you do that to yourself? Go to the mountain. Stay there’,” she said.
The mayor said this after she reminded the public that the people could still not go out even after the city shifts from the ECQ to less-restrictive general community quarantine on May 16.
But the decision whether or not to lift the ECQ in Davao City is still up for review by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) on May 14, a day before the ECQ would lapse.
The mayor implemented a 15-day ECQ from April 4 to April 19, but she extended it until April 26. Days before the second extension was to expire, the national government extended the ECQ for another 19 days in areas considered as “high risk,” until May 15.
She said the local government would draft the executive order setting the guidelines for the enforcement of the GCQ so that the people could prepare ahead, but added it would not be issued if the national government decides to extend the ECQ.
Duterte reminded the people that under GCQ, they are still prohibited from moving around, except for those who are reporting for work and buying essential items.
She added that owners of public utility vehicles must adhere to the prescribed design of the City Transport and Traffic Management Office, such as installing plastic barriers to ensure physical distancing among passengers.
She said the curfew hours would be adjusted but the 24/7 liquor ban would be sustained. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)