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  • Writer's pictureMelo Acuna

Feared variant to keep children home

Delta variant to keep millions home

MANILA – Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque today said President Rodrigo Duterte approved the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to subject the National Capital Region (NCR) under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions from today, July 23, 2021 to Saturday, July 31,2021.

In a statement, Malacañang said the same IATF rules would be observed when NCR was previously under GCQ with heightened restrictions. Also declared under GCQ with heightened restrictions were Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur, which were previously under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) until the end of the month.

From Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ), Davao de Oro and Davao del Norte have been placed under GCQ with heightened restrictions effective today until July 31,2021. Under such declaration, children five years old and above will not be allowed outdoor, as provided for under IATF Resolution No. 125 (s.2021). Davao del Sur, which was previously under MECQ, has been placed under GCQ beginning today until month’s end.

All incoming international travelers in all ports of entry must strictly comply with testing and quarantine protocols approved by the IATF. This is to further stem the entry of variants of concern to the country.

The Bureau of Quarantine is expected to identify who the close contacts in the plane or vessel of the confirmed case and closely monitor them. Infection prevention and control protocols must be likewise strictly followed in all quarantine and isolation facilities.

Local government units handover must include clear transportation arrangements and quarantine accommodation as LGUs must closely monitor the appearance of any signor symptom while arrivals are in the process of their quarantine and conduct RT-PCR testing after detection of symptoms. Health Assessment must be done for all arrivals at the end of isolation and quarantine period.

The IATF, during their 128th Meeting, approved the continuous and strengthened implementation of the Prevent-Detect-Isolate-Treat-Reintegrate (PDITR) strategy.

The strategy includes active case finding, vigorous contact tracing, immediate quarantine/isolation which should be in a facility, declaration of localized Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) down to the zone or barangay levels, stricter implementation and observance of minimum public health standards, and fast-tracked deployment of COVID-19 vaccines.

The IATF called on establishments to consider developing and converting more outdoor spaces into temporary outdoor weekend markets and dining spaces as well as permanently accessible urban green spaces, outdoor recreational spaces and public sanitation facilities.

The IATF also allowed foreign spouses, parent/s, and/or children of Filipino citizens with valid 9(a) visas to enter the Philippines without the need of an entry exemptions document from August 1,2021 onwards. (Melo M. Acuña)

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque. (File Photo/Melo M. Acuña)

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