Will the outside be ‘legal’ again after May 15?

The Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) implemented in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic was set to end on May 15.

One of the rules of the lockdown is that non-essential travel is banned, which made it feel like the outside has become “illegal.” It’s for everyone’s safety though so don’t get me wrong.

After almost two months and two extensions, many of us are probably experiencing cabin fever already. More important than that, there are those who are struggling to keep things afloat at home especially those living in low-income households.

However, the May 15 deadline is not set in stone.

Metro Manila mayors will convene on Saturday and talk about if there is a need to extend again the ECQ from May 15 to June 15 in all 17 cities and the remaining municipality, according to Parañaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez who is chairman of the Metro Manila Council (MMC).

The discussion will be among the members of the council, which is composed of 17 mayors from the National Capital Region (NCR).

The result of the discussion will be sent to the Interagency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases. This will help determine whether to extend the ECQ or not. Since the mayors do most of the legwork in terms of trying to contain the spread of the new coronavirus, it makes sense that they can provide a better recommendation about ECQ.

Of course, there are many risks involved in lifting the ECQ too early. It can lead to the spread of the infection that can bring the collapse to our already weak healthcare system. On the other hand, not lifting it can add more strain to the economy.

Whatever the mayors the decide, we all hope it is for the safety of everyone. It is going to be a tough decision but someone has got to do it.

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