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    Gov't prepares for post-April 30 ‘new normal’ guidelines

    MANILA, Philippines – The war against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is still on even after April 30, when the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) imposed in Luzon is expected to end.
    Gov't prepares for post-April 30 ‘new normal’ guidelines

    The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) is expected to issue guidelines in the coming weeks about the measures to be implemented.

    “Pag-uusapan po namin next week at maging masinsinan at malalim na paguusapan ang mga bagong do’s and don’ts after April 30,” IATF spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said.

    President Rodrigo Duterte earlier said that he will lift the lockdown in Luzon once an anti-body treatment against the new coronavirus strain becomes available in the market.

    Brace for 'new normal'

    House Deputy Speaker Luis Raymund Villafuerte also said the government should start to set out rules on the "new normal" in the gradual reopening of businesses after the lockdown ends.

    SEE ALSO: Duterte tells public: Ignore critics, support gov't

    “The government should really set the rules. If the government decides on May 1 or May 15. The government should already know what to do. I know for a fact that they will open up soon,” Villafuerte said in an interview with ANC Headstart.

    Villafuerte recommends partial opening of essential businesses. And while the rapid testing being available, the government may allow people to work but must practice social distancing measures.

    “I think we have to accept the fact that there’s a new normal now,” Villafuerte stressed.

    He added that even there's a vaccine, it will be out after 18 months or in 2022.

    Fearless forecast from former Health Secretary Manuel Dayrit also pointed out our battle against the virus would be far from over even if the strict quarantine is removed.

    “We are looking at a situation that can go beyond this year to several years later. Unluckily, this is our state. I don’t think people understand that,” Dayrit said.

    On Monday, the University of the Philippines (UP) COVID-19 Pandemic Response Team is proposing for the implementation of graduated activation of ECQ depending on the level of risk in certain areas beyond April 30. The measure aims not to paralyze local economies over a long period of time.

    READ: UP proposes graduated activation of ECQ beyond April 30

    The country started its expanded COVID-19 testing last April 14.

    As of Thursday, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country has reached 5,660. Of those, 362 died and 435 recovered.

    — The Summit Express

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