If enhanced community quarantine not imposed COVID-19 cases higher: Palace

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“Had the enhanced community quarantine or partial lockdown not been imposed, the number of the COVID-19 cases could have been staggering, for the simple reason that with unrestricted movement of the population, with each individual being a potential carrier, the coronavirus would have an untrammelled leap-frogging from one person to another,” Chief Presidential Legal Counsel & Presidential Spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo said in a statement March 29 as the number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines surpass 1000-mark.

“Our citizenry is assured that the government is doing everything to contain, if not permanently halt the spread of COVID-19 in the country,” Panelo said.

He added that “the once inadequate supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) that cost the lives of nine of our doctors and placed others in critical condition have been addressed at, as donations of PPEs (i.e., surgical masks, head gears, face shields, goggles, gloves, protective gowns and foot covers) coming from many sources have poured in even as their local production is in full swing from our garments manufacturers and local fashion designers.”

“Medical supplies, alcohol, soap and other health items are coming in too from various donors, individuals and private entities. The Bayanihan spirit has caught fire and everyone is chipping in a united front against this unseen deadly enemy,” Panelo said.

“Some quarters expressed the opinion that such increased number of COVID-19 cases shows that enhanced community quarantine or partial lockdown is ineffective in flattening the curve,” he said.

“We beg to disagree. As we have previously stated, the reason for a few reported cases of confirmed cases two weeks ago was because there was a lack of testing kits to ascertain the number of those afflicted with the disease,” Panelo explained.

“As the manufacture and supply of testing kits become available, plus the establishment of additional COVID-19 testing centers, there are more people being tested now than before, necessarily the hitherto unknown cases of COVID-19 have surfaced hence the galloping increase in number,” he added.