DOH says fitness centers to remain closed even under GCQ; urges public to exercise indoors
Robie de Guzman • April 27, 2020 • 2131
MANILA, Philippines – Fitness centers will not reopen in areas that will be placed under general community quarantine (GCQ), the Department of Health (DOH) said.
In a virtual presser on Sunday, DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said they did not recommend yet to the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) the reopening of gyms and other fitness centers in places that may be downgraded to GCQ.
“Wala pong rekomendasyon ang DOH sa ngayon tungkol sa pagbubukas ng mga gym o fitness centers,” she said, adding that their reminder to the public to stay physically active amid the enhanced community quarantine means they should exercise inside they homes daily.
“Sa tuwing iminumungkahi po namin ang mag-exercise para palakasin ang ating resistensya, ang ibig namin sabihin dito ay ehersiyo sa loob ng ating bahay hanggat makakaya,” she said.
“Marami namang workout o exercise na maaring gawin sa loob ng ating tahanan,” she added.
Some people have been raring to go out and exercise outdoors since they have been cooped up inside their homes for more than a month now.
The Luzon island has been under enhanced community quarantine since mid-March to combat the spread of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
It was initially set to end on April 13 but was extended to April 30.
Last week, President Rodrigo Duterte announced that Metro Manila and other areas with high number of COVID-19 cases will be under extended enhanced community quarantine until May 15.
Malacañang earlier said the extension of ECQ is still subject to re-checking and may still be revised by April 30.
Other areas with moderate or low risk from the virus will be subjected to re-evaluation on whether these will be put under GCQ.
Under the GCQ, certain areas in the labor sector may reopen in phases. Malls covering non-leisure shops, will also be allowed to open. Priority and essential construction projects may also resume.
Non-workers will be permitted to go out to buy goods and avail services except those pertaining to sector IV or leisure.
Public transportation will be allowed to operate at reduced capacity, and local government units are mandated to enforce night night-time curfew for non-workers.
For the option to shift to GCQ in moderate to low-risk areas, the task force recommended 100-percent opening of agriculture sector including fishery, forestry, and food manufacturing as well as all supply chain involving raw materials packaging, food retails, supermarkets and restaurants.
Fifty to 100 percent opening of the manufacturing sector was also recommended such as those engaged in electronics and exports, e-commerce and delivery for essential and non-essential items, repair and maintenance services, housing, and office services.
The IATF also considered up to 50 percent onsite work and 50 percent work-from-home for GCQ areas with moderate to low-risk. These include financial services, business process outsourcing (BPO), other non-leisure wholesale and retail trade, other non-leisure services.
Also under this condition, individuals aged 20 and below, as well as senior citizens under high health risk are advised to stay home. — RRD (with details from Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)
MANILA, Philippines – Hinimok ni Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año ang mga lokal na pamahalaan na maglabas ng ordinansa para payagan ang mga menor de edad sa loob ng mga mall sa general community quarantine (GCQ) areas.
Ginawa ni Año ang pahayag kasunod ng rekomendasyon na payagan nang lumabas ang mga menor de edad sa gitna ng novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Una nang sinabi ng DILG chief na maaaring pumasok sa loob ng mga mall sa GCQ areas ang mga menor de edad na 15 anyos pababa basta’t kasama ang kanilang mga magulang.
Ngunit kailangan aniya itong pagtibayan ng ordinansa, lalo na ng bawat lungsod sa Metro Manila.
“Ito po ay pagtitibayin sa mga ordinansa ng ating mga NCR (National Capital Regions) mayors sa lugar po ng GCQ (General Community Quarantine)” ang wika ni Año.
Paglilinaw naman ni Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez, limitado lamang ang aktibidad na maaaring gawin ng mga menor de edad sa loob ng mall gaya ng pagbili ng pagkain at iba pang mahahalagang bagay.
Ayon kay Lopez, ito ay bahagi ng mga hakbang ng pamahalaan upang muling pasiglahin ang ekonomiya na nalugmok sa gitna ng pandemya.
Samantala, sinabi naman ng Philippine National Police (PNP) na hihintayin nila ang ilalabas na ordinansa ng mga lokal na pamahalaan bago nila payagan ang mga menor de edad na makapasok sa loob ng mga mall.
“Kailangan pagtibayin yan ng isang ordinansa. Sa meeting namin ng JTF COVID Shield, pinaghandaan po namin itong recommendation ng mayors sa Metro Manila at kaugnayan din natin si NCRPO director para nga sa pagpapatupad nitong nirecommend nila na tinanggap naman ng IATF at inannounce na nga kagabi,” ang wika ni Lieutenant General Cesar Hawthorne Binag, ang commander ng Joint Task Force COVID Shield.
Hinimok rin ng pulisya ang mga magulang na kung maaari ay huwag nang dalhin sa mall ang mga bata hangga’t nananatili ang banta ng COVID-19.
“Nakikiusap kami na hangga’t kaya dahil wala pa po tayong vaccination e umiwas na lang po muna sana. This is to protect and prevent the disease from spreading further. Siguro kung medyo naturukan na tayo ng vaccine ay that’s the time na pwede na lumabas,” ang pahayag ni National Capital Region Police Office director Brigadier General Vicente Danao Jr.
Sinabi rin ni PNP chief General Debold Sinas na pauuwiin nila ang mga batang magtutungo sa mall habang wala pang inilalabas na ordinansa.
“Hindi namin hulihin at alamin muna ng pulis ang dahilan kung bakit nasa mall na sila at pauwiin natin sila,” ang wika ni Sinas. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Lea Ylagan)
MANILA, Philippines — Experts at the University of the Philippines (UP) OCTA Research said that a stricter quarantine classification in January 2021 is likely if COVID-19 cases reach the 500,000 mark.
Dr. Guido David of the UP OCTA Research said there is a possible surge in COVID-19 cases during the holiday season due to family reunions and other mass gatherings.
“Kung bigla tayong magka-surge baka magka-MGCQ tayo by January kung nagka-holiday surge tayo. In fact huwag naman sanang mangyari pero it’s even remotely possible na mabalik tayo sa mas strict na quarantine kaya nga ayaw natin mangyari iyan (If there is a surge we might be placed under MGCQ by January. If fact, hopefully it won’t happen, but it’s even remotely possible we might go back to strict quarantine which we don’t want to happen),” he said.
The team stressed the importance of maintaining physical distancing and observing minimum health standards to avoid the rise in COVID-19 cases.
They also warned that the surge could take a toll on health workers and hospitals.
David said they are open to easing the quarantine classification to Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) if COVID-19 cases drop. However, there is still a possibility that cases would increase to 10,000-20,000.
“Kung magpatuloy ang pagbaba ng bilang ng kaso, pwede naming echo iyong sinabi ni DOH Usec. [Rosario] Vergeire na mag- MGCQ na tayo by the first quarter of next year pero ang condition niyan is ang patuloy na pagbaba ng bilang ng kaso (If cases continue to drop we can echo DOH Usec. Rosario Vergeire in easing to MGCQ by the first quarter of next year, but under the condition that cases continue to drop),” he said.
Experts also urged private sectors and local government units (LGUs) to continue implementing minimum health standards and avoid physical gatherings this holiday season. AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)
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