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5月18日のまにら新聞から

Gov't alarmed by sudden influx of people outside homes after easing of quarantine rules

[ 350 words|2020.5.18|英字 ]

Authorities on Sunday expressed alarm over the sudden influx of people outside their homes after the government eased quarantine restrictions in most parts of the country, especially in Metro Manila and its nearby provinces.

According to National Task Force against COVID-19 spokesperson, retired General Restituto Padilla, they were alarmed by the public’s excitement.

“The NTF is alarmed about the incident yesterday. Our people became too much excited, maybe it’s because of their lack of knowledge on the pandemic that we are facing,” Padilla said in a radio interview.

“We appeal to the people to calm down,” he added.

In a separate statement, Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesperson Brigadier General Bernard Banac said they were also alarmed but still optimistic that people will quickly adapt to the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) guidelines.

After ECQ is downgraded in Metro Manila and its nearby provinces to MECQ on Saturday, May 16, traffic build-up and attempts or the people to move in and out were observed.

“We were quite alarmed, but this is understandable. As days go by, we will continue to learn, collaborate, and adjust accordingly our enforcement of MECQ guidelines,” Banac said.

“After all, this is the new normal, we all must learn to live with it,” he added.

The police official also said there seemed to be "overcrowding" inside the malls, which have been allowed to partially operate.

Because of this, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año warned mall owners that their establishments will be shut down if health protocols will not be observed.

Banac also said some challenges were also observed in recent disaster response operations in areas under ECQ that were affected by Tropical Storm "Ambo."

“As experienced by police frontliners, face masks either got wet, washed off, or blown away by rain and wind while social distancing was not observed inside evacuation areas where people sought shelter,” he said.

On May 16, the National Capital Region (NCR), Laguna, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecijia, Pampanga, Zambales, and Angeles City were downgraded to MECQ while Cebu City and Mandaue City have been placed under ECQ until the end of the month. Ella Dionisio/DMS