Duterte to announce new quarantine status; not sure of MGCQ for Metro Manila
Marje Pelayo • July 15, 2020 • 341
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte is set to meet with members of the Inter-Agency Task Force against COVID-19 on Wednesday evening (July 15) to discuss the next steps with regard to the implementation of community quarantine in different parts of the country.
He is expected to decide on the new quarantine status that will take effect on Thursday, July 16.
According to Malacañang, there was no mention in the previous IATF meeting about easing quarantine restrictions in Metro Manila.
Specifically, there was no discussion about the shifting from general community quarantine (GCQ) to modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) in the National Capital Region considering the increase in the number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases and the full utilization of the region’s critical care capacity.
“Hindi ko po alam dahil sa huling meeting ng IATF talagang hindi po na-discuss ang MGCQ for Metro Manila (I have no idea because in the previous IATF meeting there was no discussion about MGCQ for Metro Manila),” noted Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque.
The Philippines has entered the fourth month since the government imposed community quarantine orders due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
Roque assured, meanwhile, that the NCR’s hospitals have enough beds for COVID-19 patients despite the announcement of Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega that the region’s intensive care system has now reached the danger zone.
“Ang pakiusap lang natin sa mga pasyente, makinig lang po tayo kung saan tayo dapat pumunta at huwag na tayong mag-insist (We only ask that patients listed [to authorities] where they are supposed to go and not insist [on what they want]),” Roque stressed.
“Huwag na tayong mag-worry kung puno ang isang ospital, ire-refer naman po kayo sa iba pang ospital, (Do not worry if the hospital is full because you will be accommodated in other hospitals),” he added. MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)
Malacañang is not convinced that the Philippines has surpassed Indonesia in the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
During a press briefing on Friday (August 7), Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Philippines is conducting more COVID-19 tests which resulted in more confirmed cases.
“Ibig sabihin po dahil mas maigiting ang ating pagte-test hindi totoo na mas marami tayo kaso kaysa sa Indonesia. Hindi lamang nalalaman ng mga Indonesian kung sino-sino ang mga umiikot na mayroong sakit at least tayo alam kung sino po sila (It means we are conducting more tests. It is not true that we have more cases than Indonesia. The Indonesians don’t know who are sick at least, on our case, we know),” he said.
The Department of Health (DOH) has previously explained that the COVID-19 situation in the Philippines cannot be compared to other countries because of the population difference and health care system.
Meanwhile, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said no country can say they have been successful in their fight against COVID-19.
“No country could ever say they are successful. Look at Japan, look at Italy, even Vietnam, and Singapore,” he said. “We focus on what we are doing is appropriate, proper, and practical rather than everyday compare yourself.” -AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)
The Quezon City local government has appealed to the Department of Health (DOH) to ensure complete information of all coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) positive individuals to hasten its contact tracing efforts.
QC Mayor Joy Belmonte said the agency’s failure to provide complete information in some cases delays contact tracing by days.
Due to this, she said frontliners are forced to spend valuable time looking for the needed information from other possible sources including social media.
“The lack of available information from the outset, specifically addresses and contact numbers, amounting to half of all cases reported, delays contact tracing by days,” she said.
Belmote said 573 or 47% out of the 1,224 COVID-19 cases from Aug. 1 to 2 have no addresses or contact numbers, forcing the City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (CESU) to label them as ‘unknown’.
“With that, we appeal to your good office as Secretary of Health to set the vision and direction in improving data quality for rapid contact tracing,” she added. -AAC
Government offices that have been put under lockdown now reached 153, while over 10,000 government employees tested positive for COVID-19.
Among the offices include the Government Service Insurance System office in Pasay City and Quezon City which will remain closed until Friday (August 7). However, the GSIS advisory states that its online facilities will still remain open for members and pensioners.
The main office of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Intramuros, Manila will remain closed until August 16 for extensive disinfection and decontamination.
GOVERNMENT OFFICES UNDER LOCKDOWN
NCR – 108 Region IV – 16 Region VII – 11 Region I – 5 Region V – 4 CARAGA – 3 Region IX – 2 CAR – 1 Region II – 1 Region XI – 1 Region XII – 1
Civil Service Commission (CSC) Commissioner Atty. Aileen Lizada advised that the head of department or agency should have a concrete internal protocol to prevent the further spread of the virus. This includes swab testing, disinfection, and other health protocols.
“So we need to see, dapat meron kayong ganoong internal protocol para ho na everyone is guided accordingly (So you should have internal protocols so that everyone is guided accordingly),” she said.
Meanwhile, a total of 10,344 government employees tested positive for COVID-19 as of August 5.
Lizada said employees will have free medical services if they wish to be treated in government facilities and hospitals.
She also calls on head of the agencies to continue providing salaries to Job Orders.
“Although there is no employer-employee relationship, I personally believe that the head the agencies must continue paying the salaries of JOs and COS. They were forced to not work because of this virus,” she said. -AAC (with reports from Vincent Arboleda)
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