COVID-19 task force wants quarantine status reviewed monthly

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 31) — The country's COVID-19 task force has proposed that President Rodrigo Duterte extend the duration of a community quarantine status from two weeks to one month, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said on Monday.

"Ang pinakabenefit nito, of course, mas may stability sa ating pagkilos, sa reopening of economy. Hindi po pabago-bago, may kaunting stability," he said in a media briefing.

[Translation: The benefit is that it will create stability in our movement, in the bid to reopen the economy. It's not constantly changing thus creating stability.]

The President usually announces the quarantine status of certain areas, placing them under varying degrees of lockdown restrictions for 14 days. The two week-duration gives the government the option to adjust measures according to the constantly changing case doubling time and critical care capacity for COVID-19 patients.

Lopez said this is the ideal direction to take if the government wants to shift to the "new normal" or no community quarantine but with the strict enforcement of minimum health standards, such as wearing of face masks and physical distancing.

Duterte is set to address the nation on Monday to announce the post-August 31 quarantine status. The Philippines has been placed under different forms of community quarantine for 170 days now, making it the longest lockdown in the world.