Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) urged the Rodrigo Duterte government to outline its plan on how to end the lockdown through proper health measures that will combat the spread of the corona virus disease (Covid-19).
“The Duterte government should tell us how we will move from a state of enhanced community quarantine to a state where economic activity can resume for the people under conditions of a pandemic,” Bayan said in a statement Sunday, April 12.
On the 30th day of the lockdown, Bayan asked about the government’s transition plan to the “new normal” as experts still have no categorical answer as to when the pandemic would end.
“We are not downplaying the seriousness of the pandemic, but neither should we simply aspire for an open-ended and prolonged lockdown with no clear end goal,” the group said.
As it extended the Luzon-wide quarantine, Bayan said the government should present its plans on the following:
1. How will it increase the capacity of the entire health care system to deal with the rising cases of Covid-19 infections and the targets it needs to achieve to do such.
2. How will mass testing, contact tracing and isolation lead to the easing of restrictions in some areas that do not have or have very low incidence of Covid-19 so that economic activity can resume for the people.
3. A timeline for the gradual or calibrated lifting of the enhanced community quarantine, duly considering the number of new cases and the increased capacity of the health care system.
4. How state support for economically displaced people will continue even after the lockdown along with efforts to revive the economy and provide livelihood for the people.
Bayan said suport and reforms in other services like housing, education and mass transportation should be considered to prevent a resurgence in the number of Covid-19 cases.
“The people want to know the comprehensive plans that are being taken to effectively fight Covid-19 en route to lifting the lockdown. Absent a set of goals on lifting or easing the lockdown, it would appear that what the government is preparing for is another lockdown extension,” Bayan warned.
The country’s biggest alliance of progressive organizations added that the thrust of the government should be the immediate implementation of necessary health measures to address the crisis and enable the lifting of the lockdown at the soonest possible time. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)