(July 13, 2020) — The Philippines may soon announce a new classification on placing areas under community quarantine restrictions as cases of coronavirus infections continue to rise with more than 160 deaths reported in a single day, a government spokesman said on Monday.
President Rodrigo Duterte will make the announcement on Wednesday when he talks directly to the people in his weekly nationwide address, spokesman Harry Roque said in his news conference.
Roque said the President has a scheduled meeting with members of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the management of emerging infectious diseases or IATF tomorrow and he will make a decision to loosen or tighten lockdown protocols based on the latest available health data, including the country’s case doubling rate for COVID-19 and critical care capacity.
The IATF is the country’s highest policy body on the coronavirus pandemic. The National Task Force, made up of retired generals, implements the decisions made by the task force, approved by the President.
“Posible pong Miyerkules maaanunsyo ang classification dahil mayroon pa pong last meeting ang IATF bukas po, araw ng Tuesday para sa final recommendation sa Presidente,” Roque said.
“Lilinawin ko lang po na bagamat wala pa pong desisyon at Presidente ang mag-iisyu, datos po ang tinitingnan natin kung tayo po ay magluluwag. At siguro po at this point, the data does not indicate na pupwedeng magluwag po at least sa Metro Manila, para lang po to manage expectations.”
On Monday, the Health Department announced 2,124 new cases tallied on Sunday for a new national total of 56,259. It also recorded 2,009 new recoveries and 162 new deaths. The DOH failed to release its daily COVID-19 case bulletin yesterday due to the “significant volume of data gathered.”
JUST IN | Nakapagtala ang DOH ng 2,124 bagong kaso ng COVID-19 sa bansa kahapon, July 12. Nasa 2,009 naman ang naitalang…
The chief implementor of the National Task Force, ex-general Carlito Galvez, Jr., said the government has been trying to rebalance the economic and health impact of the pandemic after the Department of Finance warns that the country’s economy is now at the tipping point.
“Meaning, napakahirap na po ang sitwasyon pagka once na hindi natin na-recover ngayon, mahihirapan na [maka-recover] at magkakaroon ng mas malaking crisis,” Galvez said.
Galvez reiterated local government units are tasked to enforce strict lockdown measures as deemed necessary.
“Kung nakaangkla po ang ating implementasyon sa baba at saka ine-empower po natin ang mga [local] leader po natin, mas maganda po ang implementasyon kasi mas mabilis po ang response.”
Since July 1, Cebu City is the sole locality placed under the enhanced community quarantine. Metro Manila together with other provinces and cities are on general community quarantine, while the rest of the country is under a modified general community quarantine status. Current quarantine classifications are in effect until July 15.
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