MANILA, Philippines — Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque announced on Friday (October 16) that the Inter-Agency Task Force against COVID-19 has approved the further relaxation of quarantine restrictions by expanding the age group that are allowed to go out.
The announcement was in accordance with the IATF Resolution No. 79.
The Palace stressed, however, that minimum health protocols imposed by local government units (LGUs) must be strictly observed.
According to Roque, the LGUs may still impose age limit for minors depending on the incidence of COVID-19 cases in their respective areas.
“Puwede na pong lumabas ang mga minors from 15 to 65 years of age. Pero ang mga local government units po ay puwedeng magtakda ng mas mataas o mas matandang edad para po sa mga menor na edad,” Roque announced.
“That is without prejudice to the LGUs to increase the age of minors who may go out,” he added.
Previously, only persons aged 21 to 59 years old were allowed by the government to go out.
Those below 21 years old and above 60 years old, pregnant women and those with immunodeficiency, comorbidity or other health risks were required to stay at home.
Exemptions only applied to activities related to accessing essential goods and services and/or reporting for work in permitted industries. MNP (with inputs from Rosalie Coz)
Experts from the University of the Philippines (UP) OCTA Research team said relaxed travel restrictions may still pose health risks.
Dr. Guido David, team member of the UP OCTA Research, said it is too early for the country to accept inbound travels and that further review is needed to avoid coronavirus disease (COVID-19) transmission.
“There’s a surge happening right now in Europe so if we were not careful, maraming cases [there are a lot of cases] outside the Philippine, in Europe and certain parts of the world, kasama pa rin diyan iyong sa (these includes) the United States and India. So we have to be careful about letting people,” he said.
David also said despite the drop of COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila, there is still a possibility for cases to increase if no safety measures is implemented.
“We’re also a bit worried because the rate of decrease in NCR is not that low anymore. It’s very slow. So it could be, the trend might be reversing anytime,” he added.
Services of Red Cross should also resume first, according to David, because its testing capacity covers 1/4 of the total testing capacity of the country. He also reiterated the need for the public to cooperate in order to fight against the virus.
“The public should be aware that the virus is still here. That the pandemic is not yet over. So if they’re loosening restrictions, responsibility is in the public in deciding whether or not they want to go out,” he said. -AAC (with reports from Vincent Arboleda).
Patuloy nang bumababa ng antas ng COVID-19 transmission sa Cebu City kasabay ng pagdami naman ng mga gumagaling mula sa sakit, ayon kay DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu.
Batay sa hawak nilang impormasyon ngayong buwan ng Oktubre, sinabi ni Cimatu na nasa 1 hanggang 0.5 percent ang positivity rate sa lungsod.
Ibig sabihin aniya ay isa na lang ang nagpopositibo sa sakit sa bawat 100 na isinasailalim sa COVID-19 testing.
Ngayong Oktubre, umabot sa 9,307 ang bilang ng mga gumaling mula sa COVID-19 at walang napaulat na nasawi.
“If you look at the data, more than 600 death ang all of Cebu City since June and bigla na lang naging zero, what is this? This the indication really of the success of the effort of this team,” ang pahayag ni Cimatu.
Si Cimatu ay nagsisilbing chief implementor ng COVID-19 response ng pamahalaan sa Cebu City. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Irish Madelo)
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