Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles

The interagency body spearheading the Covid-19 response has tasked the Department of Health (DOH) to study whether to end, extend or expand the scope of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine.

The DOH will lead a technical working group that will draft parameters for the approval of the Interagency Task Force (IATF) on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, said Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, the task force spokesman.

In an online briefing on Tuesday, March 31, Nograles branded as “fake news” rumors that the quarantine would be extended by 60 days.

“Sa usaping ito (In this matter), science is in charge. Sana po malinaw ito sa ating lahat (I hope it’s clear to everyone),” he said.

Nograles also announced IATF directives to the tourism and transport departments to identify hotels and maritime vessels, respectively, for use as quarantine or isolation centers.

The public works department will convert state-owned buildings such as the Philippine International Convention Center, World Trade Center, and the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex into “fully functional quarantine facilities,” Nograles said.

Local governments were told to identify buildings for use as quarantine or isolation facilities as well as personnel to conduct intensive contact tracing, assessment, and monitoring of persons suspected of Covid-19 infection.

“This public health crisis has disrupted the lives and livelihoods of many of our countrymen, but government will exert all efforts to ensure that millions of Filipino families are taken care of,” Nograles said. (