IATF includes Central Visayas, Zambo City in areas under GCQ come June 1

Maris Federez   •   May 30, 2020   •   274

MANILA, Philippines — The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) has added several provinces and cities to the list of areas that will be placed under the general community quarantine (GCQ) from June 1 to 15.

This, after several local government executives made their appeal to the IATF-MEID to reclassify the community quarantine status of their respective areas.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque confirmed that Region 7 or the Central Visayas, including Cebu City and Mandaue City, and the city of Zamboanga in Mindanao are now among the areas that will be under the GCQ come Monday.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday initially announced that the National Capital Region (NCR), Regions II, III, and IV, the province of Pangasinan and the city of Davao are placed under GCQ.

The rest of the areas that the chief executive did not mention will be placed under the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) starting next month.

Under the GCQ, more economic sectors will be able to resume operation, while those that will be under the MGCQ will transition to the “new normal” way of living.

Meanwhile, the Malacañang assured that the IATF is now finding ways on how the public utility jeepneys (PUJ) will be able to resume operation while maintaining social distancing and health protocols, as more industries will reopen by Monday.

Roque said that as reported by the Department of Transportation (DOTr), the resumption of operations of mass transportation in the NCR will be done in phases.

Pasensya na po sa ating mga kapatid na namamasada ng mga jeepney, pero pinag-aaralan pa po kung papaano magkakaroon ng social distancing sa ating mga jeepney. Bagaman mayroon na po tayong bahagyang pagbukas o pagpayag sa mga pampublikong transportasyon, ang pangunahing guidelines po diyan social distancing,” Roque said.

[I beg the indulgence of our jeepney drivers, but maintaining social distancing inside the jeepneys is still being determined. Although we have already started to open our public transportation, the primary guidelines to be considered in it is social distancing.] —(from the report of Rosalie Coz) /mbmf

MGCQ not yet possible in NCR – Malacañang

Marje Pelayo   •   July 13, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Community quarantine measures may not be relaxed yet in the National Capital Region (NCR), according to National Task Force against COVID-19 Chief Implementer Sec. Carlito Galvez.

Galvez said areas with high cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are likely to remain under general community quarantine (GCQ) if the situation will not improve.

He noted the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases in the NCR and the region’s hospital occupancy has already reached 70% in the past five days.

On July 15, the existing community quarantine measures across the country will lapse and President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to announce the government’s decision as to which quarantine restriction should the NCR be placed beginning July 16.

However, Malacañang said the numbers cannot yet justify Metro Manila’s shift from GCQ to modified general community quarantine (MGCQ). 

“Datos po ang tinitingnan natin. Kung tayo po ay magluluwag, siguro po at this point, the data does not indicate na pwedeng magluwag at least sa Metro Manila, para lang po to manage expectations [We are looking into data. If we are to ease (restrictions) at this point, the data does not indicate that we can ease at least in Metro Manila, just to manage expectations],” explained Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

Galvez also stressed that even Metro Manila mayors recommended retaining the GCQ in their respective areas or implementing hybrid status which means opening all businesses while observing safety precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Galvez noted, however, that there are other areas where stricter quarantine restrictions will be imposed starting July 16. 

Mayroon pong nag-escalate, at mga area na ito ay nakita nating nagkaroon ng new cases at spikes [There are areas that escalated. And these areas are where new cases and spikes were reported],” Galvez concluded. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

IATF expands services in salons, barbershops amid COVID-19 pandemic

Maris Federez   •   July 7, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Inter-Agency Task Force against COVID-19 has expanded the services allowed in salons and barbershops in areas under the general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

Aside from haircut services, hair treatments are now allowed in salons under the GCQ areas; while nail care, basic facial care services, and basic personal care services will be allowed in areas under MGCQ.

Nevertheless, minimum public health standards will be strictly implemented in both GCQ and MGCQ areas, such as strict protocol on hand sanitation, face mask and face shields, gloves, and sterilized equipment.

The operating capacity in salons and barbershops will also be expanded to 50 percent in GCQ areas and 75 percent in MGCQ areas starting July 16, 2020. —(with details from Rosalie Coz) /mbmf

NAIA Terminal 3 prepares as international flights resume on Wednesday

Maris Federez   •   July 7, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 confirms its readiness for the resumption of international flights on Wednesday (July 8).

The resumption of international flight operations, however, will still be at limited capacity in compliance with the directive of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) on the allowable number of passenger arrivals.

The IATF-MEID directive said the total number of arriving passengers on international flights must not go beyond 2,400 per day.

Half of this number is allotted to repatriated Filipinos, while the rest are for passengers from commercial flights.

Airport authorities said operations at Terminal 1 are once again transferred to Terminal 3 as the volume of passengers in international commercial flights continues to increase due to the easing of travel restrictions of other countries.

As part of the preparations, Manila International Airport (MIAA) General Manager Ed Monreal personally inspected the terminal 3 to check if the additional chairs to be placed near the check in counters at the departure area are complete.

Health and safety protocols, such as wearing of face masks and physical distancing inside the airport are still strictly implemented. —(from the report of Asher Cadapan, Jr.) /mbmf

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