IATF considers possible 2nd wave of COVID-19 if quarantine restrictions are relaxed

Marje Pelayo

MANILA, Philippines — The Inter-Agency Task Force against COVID-19 is carefully considering the statistics of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases and the critical capacity both in Metro Manila and Metro Cebu.

Data shows COVID-19 cases in both metropolises remain high despite government-imposed quarantine measures.

The IATF will use this information to craft its recommendation to President Rodrigo Duterte on whether or not to further downgrade restrictions from general community quarantine (GCQ) to modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) in Metro Manila and Metro Cebu. 

According to Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque, the national government is taking into consideration a possible second wave of infection should it relax quarantine restrictions in the National Capital Region (NCR).

Makikita natin na talagang Manila as the epicenter ay medyo mabilis pa ang pagkalat ng sakit, (We noticed a rapid spread of [COVID-19] in Metro Manila being the epicenter),” noted Roque. 

Ang inaasahan po natin na sa lahat ng parte ng bansa ay either pupunta na sa MGCQ o papunta na sa new normal. Pero dito sa Metro Manila, masusing pag-aaral po ng datos ang inaasahan natin (We were expecting that all areas in the country would be shifting to MGCQ or toward the new normal. But here in Metro Manila, we are expecting a thorough analysis of the data)” he added.

Roque stressed the importance of the public’s strict compliance with health protocols such as social distancing, wearing of face masks and maintaining good health.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez also made a similar appeal to business owners who were allowed to reopen. 

Importante po kasi sa pagbabalik ay iyong pagsunod dito sa health protocol, (During resumption of businesses, practice of this health protocol is very important),” he noted.

As long as masunod ito, sigurado pong malilimitahan iyong mga transmission na ating inaalala (As long as these protocols are observed, the transmissions that we fear will be controlled),” he added.

Roque said President Duterte is expected to meet with the IATF on Monday (June 15), where the government is expected to decide on the quarantine measures in place. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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