MANILA, Philippines – The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) will meet this week to discuss and finalize its recommendation to the President on whether or not quarantine protocols in Metro Manila and other parts of the country will be further loosened or tightened after June 15.
The IATF said its members will meet on Wednesday, June 10, to study newly-analyzed data on the trend of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country in order to draft their resolution which will be presented for the approval of President Rodrigo Duterte.
The task force said it is expected to meet with the president in Davao City on Thursday, June 11.
Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Pangasinan, Cagayan Valley, Central Visayas, Zamboanga City and Davao City are under general community quarantine (GCQ) from June 1 to 15.
All other areas in the country are placed under modified GCQ.
Under the GCQ guidelines, restrictions on people’s movement, public transportation and the operations of industries have been relaxed although it remains limited, provided that minimum health standards set by the government are strictly observed.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said among the factors that the IATF will look into when drafting its recommendation is the case doubling rate in the country.
He added that the data of Metro Manila and Cebu City will particularly be analyzed amid continuing increase in coronavirus infections.
“Tinitingnan po natin ang case-doubling rate, tinitingnan po natin ang critical care capacity. Kapag po ganyang tumataas, well, siyempre po may posibilidad na hindi tayo mag-graduate to the next phase. We have to look at the data of Metro Manila and Cebu City carefully,” Roque said.
But if the IATF recommends Metro Manila to be placed under the MGCQ, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said more industries will be allowed to reopen at 50 percent capacity.
These include industries on entertainment and kid amusement, libraries, museums, cultural centers, tourist destinations, travel agencies, tour operators, other personal care services, travel agencies, pet grooming services, internet and computer shops and other educational support establishments.
People aged 21 and below living in MGCQ areas will still be urged to remain at home but they will be allowed to do fitness and sports activities and visit leisure-related establishments.
“May mga exemption po at isa po sa exemption under MGCQ, ma-allow na po sila to exercise, do those activities na inaallow naman po under MGCQ. Ibig sabihin, mapapayagan din po silang mag-exercise sa labas at gawin ang sports activities na kailangang gawin at bisitahin ang pwede nang bisitahin,” DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said.
Authorities, however, stressed that “sabong” and horse racing activities remain prohibited in the country.
“Hindi pa rin po pinayagan ang horse racing, ang sabong, pinagbabawal pa rin po,” Roque said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
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