Pres. Spokesperson Panelo: Unrestricted Movement Spreads Covid-19 ‘Faster’

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Restricting people’s movement in the entire Luzon would prevent the further spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in the country, Malacañang said.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the strict enforcement of enhanced community quarantine in Luzon was necessary since some individuals who are unaware that they are infected with Covid-19” went rushing to their home cities and towns.”

Panelo said President Rodrigo Duterte has to isolate areas with confirmed Covid-19 cases “to save the rest of the community from being exposed to — or infected — by the deadly virus.”

“The forceful imposition of a lockdown in Luzon was ordered by the President to put the coronavirus dead on its tracks,” he said in a press statement. “If we allow the untrammeled movement of our people, the greater and the faster the spread of the virus would be.”

The implementation of enhanced community quarantine in the island of Luzon is effective until April 12.

Imposing an enhanced community quarantine means all households must observe strict home quarantine and limit their movements to accessing basic necessities.

An enhanced community quarantine also requires the regulation of the provision for food and essential health services, as well as the heightened presence of uniformed personnel to enforce quarantine procedures.

Individuals exempted from the implementation of Luzon-wide enhanced community include soldiers, policemen, authorized government personnel, health workers, media practitioners, and others rendering other essential services.

Potential Covid-19 carrier

Panelo admitted that each one of the people is already considered as “potential” carrier of the coronavirus.

“The very purpose of a lockdown is for us to stay at home. If we go out from our residences, we will be in close physical proximity with those we will be meeting on the streets, as well as with those we will bump into, or interact with, in our respective destination. The exposure and infection to anyone carrying the virus happens at this stage,” he said.

Panelo warned a person can contaminate others when he goes back to his home, since he was unaware that he has already been exposed to or infected by Covid-19.

He reminded the public that the virus can be transmitted by touching the surfaces of furniture, dining utensils and doors.

He stressed that when a member of the household goes out of his house, he automatically has a direct contact with other people who are also outside of their respective homes.

“This is where the spread of the virus go exponentially. It means you infect one individual and latter infects all the people he meets or come in contact with. The infected ones infect others, and the others transmit the virus to more people who instantly become corona virus carriers,” Panelo said.

Panelo cautioned that the process continues until the contagion becomes unmanageable.

“That is why we need to stay at home and stay put, so that each one of us will not be contaminating one other. By staying at home, we abruptly cut the chain of spreading Covid-19 because the virus will be at a standstill,” he said.

Follow protocols

Panelo renewed his call on the public to follow the government’s precautionary measures against Covid-19.

He said everyone should always observe proper hygiene, wear face mask, and practice social distancing “so that if either one of us is infected, there is no chance for the virus to transfer to the next potential virus carrier.”

“Our national survival is at stake. The protocols and guidelines established by the government are simple enough. All we need to do is to observe them. Self-discipline is the key to the success of the lockdown,” Panelo said.

Panelo said Filipinos are also encouraged to do their part to stop the transmission of Covid-19.


He told them the implementation of enhanced community quarantine would be an opportunity for all to bond with their family.

“To be sure, there will be inconvenience and discomfort as we go about our daily lives in these trying times and under this restricted environ” Panelo said. “However, we are all called upon to sacrifice and to practice self-denial of pleasures and amenities to save ourselves and others, and ultimately this nation.”

Panelo also asked the public to continue praying amid the threat posed by Covid-19.

He was optimistic that the country would be successful in combating the infectious disease through the “loving and caring grace of the Almighty, and the unity of all Filipinos.”

“As we respond to the trumpeting call for unity among all Filipinos, regardless of political and religious beliefs, let us in unison pray to the omnipotent God of all nations, of whatever name it is known, for guidance and protection. Let us pray that It’s glorious divine rays shield us from this scourge of a disease that has engulfed the entire world,” Panelo said. (PNA)

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