IATF, naglabas ng guidelines para sa home quarantine

Robie de Guzman   •   July 14, 2020   •   439

MANILA, Philippines – Hindi na papayagan ang basta na lamang na pagsasailalim sa home quarantine ng isang confirmed, suspected o probable case ng novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) batay sa guidelines na inilabas ng Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).

Sa nasabing panuntunan, may tatlong tanong na kailangang sagutin upang payagan ang pagsasagawa ng home quarantine para sa mga taong pinasususpetsahan o naimpeksyon ng nakakahawang COVID-19.

Una, mayroon ba siyang sariling kwarto sa kanilang bahay?

Pangalawa, may sarili bang banyo ang kuwarto na hindi ginagamit ng ibang kasama sa bahay?

At pangatlo, may kasama ba sa bahay na mga taong itinuturing na vulnerable sa COVID-19 gaya ng senior citizen, buntis, o may sakit o comorbities o dinadalang sakit tulad ng diabetes, hypertension, cancer, at iba pa?

Kung walang sariling kwarto na may banyo sa bahay ang isang COVID-19 patient, o kung may kasama siyang kabilang sa vulnerable group, hindi siya maaaring sumailalim sa home quarantine at kailangang dalhin siya sa isang local quarantine facility.

Layunin ng bagong panuntunan na mapigilan ang patuloy na pagkalat ng coronavirus disease sa mga sangbahayan at komunidad, at mabawasan ang bilang ng mga nagpapa-confine sa ospital lalo’t punuan na ang sitwasyon sa ilang pagamutan sa gitna ng COVID-19 crisis.

“Kung bagsak ka sa kahit iisa man sa tatlong iyon, hindi ka pwede mag home quarantine. Bakit? yun ang nagiging rason ng pagkalat ng COVID-19,” ani Vince Dizon na nagsisilbing Chief Testing Czar ng pamahalaan.

Susunduin ng local health units mula sa bahay ang pasyenteng hindi nakapasa sa guidelines ng home quarantine. Sa quarantine facility, libre ang pagkain, gamot at Wi-Fi connection para sa mga pasyente.

Paglilinaw naman ng IATF, papayagan pa rin ang home quarantine kung masusunod ang mga inilatag na kondisyon para rito.

Sinabi rin ni Dizon na gumagawa na ng paraan ang pamahalaan para lalo pang mapataas ang bed capacity sa isolation centers sa bansa.

“Right now, we are running at around roughly 53 percent sa National Capital Region sa ating mga We Heal As one Centers… Marami pa tayong ibang gagawin,” aniya.

Muling humihingi ang mga otoridad ng kooperasyon sa publiko para mapigilan ang lalo pang pagdami ng mga tinatamaan ng coronavirus disease sa bansa.

Sa kasalukuyan, mayroon nang kabuuang 57,006 kaso ng COVID-19 infections sa bansa, 1,599 sa mga ito ang nasawi habang 20,371 naman ang gumaling mula sa viral respiratory disease. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Vincent Arboleda)

IATF to allow partial opening of gyms, internet cafes, aesthetic services starting August 1

Robie de Guzman   •   July 29, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Inter-Agency Task for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) has approved the partial opening of more business establishments in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified (GCQ) starting August 1, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said Wednesday.

According to IATF Resolution No. 59, establishments in GCQ areas that are offering aesthetic services, gyms, fitness centers and sports facilities, internet cafes, personal grooming, pet grooming, testing and tutorial centers as well as review centers and drive-in cinemas will be allowed to operate up to 30 percent of capacity.

The DTI, however, clarified that gyms with contact sports such as karate and boxing are not covered by the measure.

In areas under MGCQ, limited operations will be allowed for establishments offering full body massage, live events, entertainment industries, libraries, archives, museums and cultural centers, and tourist destinations, as well as driving, and dance/acting/voice schools.

The DTI said these businesses will be allowed to partially operate as long as mandatory health protocols, such as physical distancing and sanitation, are followed.

Meanwhile, Malacañang reiterated on Wednesday that President Rodrigo Duterte will make announcements this week about the new community quarantine classification that will be implemented in August.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the president is set to meet with the IATF on Thursday to discuss its recommendations.

Roque also said that aside from the new community quarantine restrictions, the public should also await the “major changes” that will be implemented in the government’s response to COVID-19 pandemic.

The Palace official earlier said that these changes, which will include massive testing, “invigorated” tracing, and creation of more quarantine facilities, will focus more on the policies to contain the public health crisis. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

IATF urged anew to reconsider rule on motorcycle barriers for riding couples

Robie de Guzman   •   July 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. on Monday reiterated his appeal to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) to reconsider its policy on the use of barriers for motorcycle riding couples.

In a statement, Revilla said the IATF should heed the sentiments of riders, several engineers and other experts on the mandatory installation of barriers in motorcycles due to concerns on safety, aerodynamics and maneuverability for riders.

“Napakarami po sa ating mga kababayan ang mismong nagsasabi na nahihirapan silang magbalanse at mag-maneuver ng kanilang motorsiklo dahil sa divider,” he said.

The senator suggested that the IATF conduct a comprehensive consultation among motorcycle manufacturers and experts to come up with better guidelines that will protect motorcycle riders from obtaining COVID-19 and at the same time, spare them from any road mishaps.

“Sa hirap po ng buhay ngayon lalo na’t marami sa ating mga kababayan ang walang hanapbuhay at pambili ng divider, napipilitan silang mag-improvise ng sarili nilang barricade. Mas nalalagay tuloy sa alanganin ang ating mga kababayan lalo na kung yung improvised na divider nila ay hindi matibay ang pagkakakabit, marupok ang materyales, o di kaya’y kulang o sobra sa bigat,” he said.

Revilla renewed his call after Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, Joint Task Force (JTF) COVID Shield Commander, announced on July 18 that the government is extending the deadline for the installation of motorcycle barriers from July 19 to July 26.

Eleazar earlier said that the deadline was moved to give more time for motorcycle riders to install barriers based on the two designs approved by the task force.

“Gusto natin kasi na maka-comply sila, mabigyan ng mahaba pang oras para doon sa mga design na inilabas ng National Task Force. At ‘yon nga din ang panawagan n’ong iba na pwede makahinga ng extension pati na rin itong naglabas ng design at sa Angkas, sinasabi nga nila mas maganda siguro na mas makarami na maka-avail n’ong design na inilabas nila,” Eleazar said.

He said that after July 26, they will apprehend those who will violate the new rule.

Since the task force announced the policy allowing pillion riding in motorcycle for couples on July 10, authorities have monitored more than 7,000 violators in various parts of the country. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

Mayor Sara Duterte tells residents to prepare for possible return of Davao City to GCQ

Robie de Guzman   •   July 14, 2020

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte has called on residents to prepare for the possible return of the city to the general community quarantine (GCQ), which entails the observance of stricter health and movement restrictions.

Duterte made the call on Monday after receiving advance information from the National Inter-Agency Task Force that the city will be reverted to GCQ on Wednesday, July 15.

Malacañang earlier said that President Rodrigo Duterte may be announcing on Wednesday the new quarantine restrictions that will be implemented in various parts of the country after July 15.

Mayor Sara said she will be appealing to the IATF to reconsider the quarantine classification of Davao City which is currently under modified GCQ.

“Kung ma deny gihapon ang appeal nga magpabilin ta og MGCQ, may I request everyone nga duna tay July 2 nga version sa Omnibus Guidelines nga atoa lang i-review, pasadahan nato kung unsa tong GCQ para mahinumdom ta kung unsa atoang kinahanglan buhaton during a GCQ. So maayo nang mangandam ta daan for a status nga GCQ,” she said in an interview over the city-run Davao City Disaster Radio.

(If our appeal to remain under MGCQ is denied, I request everyone to review the July 2 version of our Omnibus guidelines, go over the guidelines under GCQ so we remember what we should do during a GCQ. We should get ready for a GCQ status.)

The latest version of the Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of Community Quarantine in the Philippines issued on July 2, 2020 include limitations of in-dining services to only 30 percent capacity, and prohibiting entertainment establishments like comedy bars and karaoke from operating, as well as mass gatherings with more than 10 people.

Davao City saw a continued rise in coronavirus cases in the past weeks. Based on the latest data from the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC), Davao City has 162 active positive cases, the highest number of active cases since the Covid-19 outbreak started in March this year. The number of recoveries is at 382 and 35 deaths.

Given the still increasing cases and in the absence of anti-coronavirus disease vaccine, the public is reminded to stay at home except when buying food and medicine; wash hands frequently, social distancing, and wear masks whenever they go out of their homes.

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