A group of healthcare professionals called on the government to end any “Duterte-style” enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) or lockdown to manage the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

The Second Opinion PH, an independent group of health professionals, workers, and students, strongly advised against the government’s “militaristic and fascist” quarantine approach, saying that it is “devoid of scientific sense and health purpose.” 

“[T]oo many lives of healthcare workers have been needlessly lost due to the wrong priorities taken by this criminally-negligent, corrupt, and tyrannical government,” the organization said in a Facebook post. 

The professionals stressed the need to reject the “distorted forms of community quarantine” and instead focus on a medical quarantine, with healthcare workers leading the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the Second Opinion PH, the quarantine framework set by the government has not served its purpose, but only served to oppress the Filipino people. 

The healthcare professionals who signed the statement prescribed a six-point course of action which according to them is “consistent with the pillars of the healthcare system.”

The first point called for the removal of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, along with the generals and czars in the Inter-Agency Task Force, and instead replace them with professionals from health-related fields.

The group also pushed for an active recruitment of nurses and doctors and the immediate provision of substantial funding and financial support for national and local government interventions. 

The manifesto also mentioned the need to ensure continuity of service for both Covid-19 and non-Covid-19 patients. 

They also discussed the need to enhance community level tracing, testing, isolating, and treatment capacity, along with the immediate improvement of Covid-19-related data processing and management.

The manifesto was signed by Doctors Gene Nisperos, Geneve Rivera-Reyes, Darby Santiago, Leonard Javier and Soraya Escandor, and Registered Nurse Sean Velchez. Jayziel Khim Budino