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Public warned its too early to lower guard

JOINT Task Force COVID-19 commander Lieutenant General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar yesterday called on all Filipinos to maintain vigilance and continue to comply with all government health protocols despite the projected flattening of the curve of the killer virus in the coming days.

The official said that in particular, Filipinos and foreigners alike must ensure they will be observing minimum health protocols like wearing of face masks and face shields in public and fully observing social distancing in order to realize and expedite the positive forecast made by medical experts that the COVID-19 curve will be flattened by the end of the month or this coming September.

General Eleazar maintained that the realization of the positive forecast still lies with the cooperation of every Filipino in strictly observing the minimum health safety protocols being encouraged by the government, and being enforced by the JTF COVID Shield.

“Just because there is a positive forecast like this does not mean that we should be complacent already. How we achieve this projection still depends on us by being mindful of our safety, by respecting the government’s measures to protect public health,” he emphasized.

“On the part of your JTF COVID Shield in coordination with our Chief PNP, Police General Archie Francisco Gamboa, we will continue doing our best to fulfill our mandate of enforcing the quarantine rules to contain the spread of the virus and eventually win the fight and repel the invasion of the coronavirus,” he added.

Earlier, a research group from the University of the Philippines said there is a big chance that the curve of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) may flatten due to the observed decline in the number of infections in the past days.

The group added that once the curve starts to flatten, it will take one to two months before the infection rate is reduced to manageable level.

Lt. Gen. Eleazar said even the medical experts recognized the positive effects of the communpity quarantine measures approved by President Duterte which started with strict lockdown measures on March 17.

Had the government not resorted to strict community quarantine measures, Eleazar said the Philippines would have been included in the list of countries with millions of infected people like the United States and Brazil.

During the entire community quarantine period implementation, the National Task Force on COVID-19 led by Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana, through the JTF COVID Shield instituted some adjustments on the ground in order to compel the people to behave and follow the quarantine rules.

Among them are the deployment of more soldiers and police commandos in areas with high infection rate and with monitored high violation of quarantine protocols, the implementation of mobile checkpoints by the PNP Highway Patrol Group led by Brigadier Gen. Eliseo DC Cruz when President Duterte eased the restrictions to gradually open the economy, and the wearing of face shields in public transport, places of convergence and workplaces as additional protective gear against the coronavirus.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo M. Año also actively pushed for the gradual return of motorcycle back-riding to assist stranded frontliners especially the medical health workers.

“The battle is not yet over. For as long as a vaccine is not yet made available for mass immunization, we urge all our kababayan to continue maintaining vigilance and strictly observe the quarantine rules not only to protect themselves and their family but also as their contribution for the nation to heal as one,” said Eleazar.

Publication Source :    People's Journal
Alfred P. Dalizon
Author of the ‘Mamang Pulis’ series and Crame Files | A Journal Group reporter since 1988 and recipient of dozens of national awards from the PNP/DILG/PDEA/DDB/NAPOLCOM and the private sector | Winner of two (2) prestigious Catholic Mass Media Awards (CMMA) for Best Investigative Report | A Finalist for another CMMA Best Investigative Report | A 3-time Journal Group Employee and Top Reporter of the Year