Duterte places NCR Plus under GCQ with heightened restrictions starting May 15

Maris Federez   •   May 14, 2021   •   217

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte announced on Thursday night the new quarantine restrictions to cover Metro Manila and neighboring provinces beginning May 15.

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the President has approved the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to place the National Capital Region (NCR), Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal – collectively known as the NCR Plus area – under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions from May 15 to 31, 2021.

Other areas placed under the GCQ with heightened restriction status are the provinces under the Cordillera Administrative Region, such as Apayao, Baguio City, Benguet, Kalinga, Mountain Province and Abra; Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya in Region 2; Batangas and Quezon in Region 4-A; Puerto Princesa in Region 4-B; Iligan City in Region 10; Davao City in Region 11; and Lanao del Sur in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

On the other hand, the City of Santiago and Quirino Province in Region 2; Ifugao in the Cordillera Administrative Region; and Zamboanga City in Region 9 are placed under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ).

Meanwhile, all other areas are placed under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) until the month’s end.

Under the GCQ with heightened restrictions, only essential travel into and out of the NCR Plus shall be allowed.

“Public transportation shall remain operational at such capacities and protocols in accordance with the Department of Transportation guidelines while the use of active transportation shall be promoted,” the statement said.

Moreover, indoor dine-in services in the NCR Plus shall be at 20% venue or seating capacity, while outdoor or al fresco dining shall be at 50% venue or seating capacity.

Outdoor tourist attractions in the NCR Plus, on the other hand, maybe opened at 30% with strict adherence to minimum public health standards.

“Further allowed in the NCR Plus are specialized markets of the Department of Tourism (DOT) following the minimum public health standards and implementation of protocols and restrictions as set by the DOT,” the statement read.

Meanwhile, religious gatherings and gatherings for necrological services, wakes, inurnment, and funerals for those who died of causes other than COVID-19 in the NCR Plus shall be allowed up to 10% of the venue capacity.

In his pre-taped Talk to the Nation aired on Thursday, President Duterte particularly mentioned about foregoing congregations especially this month of town fiestas.

“Ang hinihingi ko is that you only not tone down but forego kasi may batas. Forego to congregate, to crowd, and to hold [fiestas]. Walang problema, alam ng Dios na love natin Siya. But ang problema is the necessary consequence of it all,” the President said.

“I will not allow violations of the guidelines given by the task force. And I will hold the local government down to the barangay level, and therefore, it could only be the barangay captains. I will hold you responsible for any violations, sa mga batas na hindi natutupad. Batas ito. You have to enforce it because if you want this country to recover from the onslaught of COVID-19, you have to be mindful of what is going on and how to prevent it,” the President further said.

Also continued to be allowed in areas under the GCQ with heightened restrictions are non-contact sports in outdoor contact sports, games, scrimmages held outdoors; and personal care services that allow for services not requiring mask removal, such as salons, parlors, beauty clinics, etc at 30% capacity.

Individuals, 18-65 years of age, are allowed to go out of their homes in GCQ areas with heightened restrictions.

“Meanwhile, entertainment venues, such as bars, concert halls, theaters, etc; recreational venues, such as internet cafes, billiards halls, arcades, etc; amusement parks, fairs, playgrounds, kiddie rides; indoor sports courts and venues and indoor tourist attractions; venues for meetings, conferences, exhibitions shall not be allowed in GCQ areas with heightened restrictions,” Roque’s statement read.

Interzonal travel from NCR Plus areas, except those conducted by Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APOR), shall remain prohibited in the GCQ areas with heightened restrictions, the statement further read.

Manila City allows walk-ins in all vaccination sites

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 21, 2021

MANILA Philippines — The Manila City Government on Monday (June 21) now allow walk-ins in all vaccination sites.

According to Manila Public Information Office (MPIO), the directive of Manila Mayor Isko Moreno was after having a low turnout in vaccination sites. The mayor said he directed not to allow walk-ins in order to prove to critics the effect if the system would only be done through scheduling.

“I’m not a believer of scheduling but we tried it today para doon sa mga may mema, iyong  may masabi lang ang naggagaling-galingan lang (for those who just wanted to complain),” he said.

The Manila local government reported that only 4,210 doses were administered on Monday (June 21) from the 28,000 allocated doses. AAC

70-M vaccination target maaabot sa pagdating ng dagdag na COVID-19 vaccine supply – Malakanyang

Robie de Guzman   •   June 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Naniniwala ang pamahalaan na maaabot ng bansa ang target nitong mabakunahan ang nasa 70 milyong adult population bago matapos ang taon dahil sa inaasahang delivery ng dagdag na supply ng Pfizer at iba pang COVID-19 vaccine brands.

Ayon kay Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, nakapag-secure na ang pamahalaan ng 40 milyong dose ng bakuna mula sa Pfizer bukod pa sa inaasahang delivery ng iba pang COVID-19 vaccine brand sa mga susunod na buwan.

Sa ulat ng National Task Force against COVID-19, bukod sa Pfizer vaccines ay 26 milyon pa ang inaasahang supply mula sa Sinovac, 10 milyon ang Sputnik V mula sa Gamaleya Research Institute, 20 milyon mula sa Moderna, at 17 milyon mula sa AstraZeneca. May parating ding donasyon na 1 milyong Sinovac at 44 milyon ng COVID-19 vaccine mula sa COVAX facility.

“Sumatotal, ngayong mayroon tayong inaasahan na 158 million doses, sapat-sapat na po para sa kabuuan ng ating populasyon,” ani Roque.

Ngayong may malaking supply na inaasahan ang bansa, kampante ang pamahalaan na mababakunahan ang mayorya ng populasyon sa bansa bago matapos ang 2021.

“Kung 500,000 per day po yan, 10 days is 5 million. So kinakailangan lang po natin 20 days para po maubos yung first dose ng dumating na 40 million na Pfizer,” ang wika ni Roque.

Sa ngayon ay nasa 8.40 milyong doses na ng COVID-109 vaccine ang nai-administer sa bansa.

Noong June 15 naman ay naitala ang pinakamataas na vaccination rate sa Pilipinas sa loob ng isang araw na umanot sa 322,929 doses. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Pagbabantay sa PH borders, mas hihigpitan vs COVID-19 Delta variant — DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   June 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Mas hihigpitan pa ang gagawing pagbabantay sa lahat ng border sa bansa, mula sa mga paliparan, pantalan hanggang sa mga boundary ng bawat lugar sa Pilipinas, ayon sa Department of Health (DOH).

Ayon kay Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, naabisuhan na ang lahat ng lokal na pamahalaan para sa paghihigpit sa kani-kanilang mga border upang mapigilan ang pagkalat ng Delta variant, isang uri ng COVID-19 na mas nakakakahawa kumpara sa ibang variant.

“Nasa heightened alert po lahat. Lahat ng local governments were informed, lahat po ng mga regional offices were informed na kailangan bantayan maigi ang Delta Variant across our borders,” ani Vergeire.

Ayon sa opisyal, mas paiigtingin pa ng pamahalaan ang pagpapatupad ng COVID-19 testing at quarantine protocols, at contact tracing pati na ang pagpapalawig sa entry ban sa mga magmumula sa bansang India, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, at Nepal hanggang June 30.

“We are going to uphold the directive of the IATF as well as the Office of the President. This is because we want to prevent further entry of this Delta Variant,” ani Vergeire.

“We cannot have non-uniformity in the implementation of our border control. So iyan po napag-usapan, napagkasunduan, nakausap na rin po ang mga officials, regional directors ng iba’t ibang ahensya last Saturday,” dagdag pa niya.

Ang mas mahigpit na border control sa Pilipinas ay kasunod ng pahayag ng World Health Organization na ang Delta variant na ang dominant variant ng COVID-19 matapos itong mapaulat sa mahigit 80 bansa.

Ang Delta variant ay unang natuklasan sa bansang India.

Sa Pilipinas, 17 na ang kabuuang kaso ng Delta COVID-19 variant matapos itong madagdagan nang magpositibo sa naturang variant ang apat na returning overseas Filipino mula sa South Korea at Saudi Arabia.

Iniulat din ng DOH na 14 na dagdag na kaso ng Alpha variant (United Kingdom), at 21 Beta variant (South Africa) ang naitala sa bansa batay sa ulat ng Philippine Genome Center at ng UP-National Institutes of Health ngayong Lunes.

Ayon sa DOH, lubhang nakababahala kapag lalo pang kumalat sa bansa ang mga variant na ito, lalo na ang Delta variant, dahil mataas ang tiyansang maospital ang isang individwal na kakapitan nito.

“Walang sinabi sa mga ebidensyang nakalap natin, even our experts are saying, walang sinabi na deadly pero sinabi na mas nakakahawa talaga siya,” ani Vergeire.

“Ang delta variant is 60% more transmissible than the Alpha variant. So, ibig sabihin po kung ang alpha variant ay nakapanghahawa ng 4-5 tao per every individual infected, ang Delta Variant po can have 8 individual infected sa isang taong may sakit. So ganoon kabilis ang pagkakahawa kapag Delta Variant ang pinag-uusapan,” dagdag pa niya.

Muli ring paalala ng DOH sa publiko na mag-doble ingat at sundin ang ipinatutupad na health protocols kontra COVID-19. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

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