IATF mulls extending quarantine status to one month
MANILA, Philippines — The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases is looking into extending the duration of quarantine classifications from two weeks to one month, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said Monday.
In a televised briefing, Lopez said this proposal, initiated by Metro Manila mayors, will benefit the government’s stability in policies it is implementing.
“May ongoing IATF meeting ngayon, pinaguusapan ito. At definitely we’re looking into longer term period ng community quarantine. In other words, baka hindi na 14 days, baka one month ang duration,” Lopez said.
(There is an ongoing IATF meeting and we’re talking about this. We’re looking into longer term period of community quarantine. In other words, it may not be 14 days anymore but one month duration.)
“Ang pinaka-benefit po nito, of course may stability ho sa ating pagkilos, sa pagpreprepare po ng reopening of the economy,” he added.
(The benefit of this is that there will be stability in our movement and in our preparation to reopening the economy.)
Lopez said this is still subject to President Rodrigo Duterte’s approval.
Since parts of the country were placed on lockdown in mid-March, the President announces new quarantine classifications of provinces every two weeks.
Duterte is expected to announce new quarantine measures Monday night.
Early morning on Monday, the chairman of the Metro Manila Council and Parañaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez said the mayors in the capital region have recommended that GCQ be maintained over the metropolis for the next 30 days, or the whole of September.
The mayors reached the agreement during a meeting held Sunday night with some of Cabinet members.
“Doon sa pulong, pinagkaisahan ng lahat ng mayors na irerekomenda sa IATF na i-maintain ‘yung GCQ, ‘yung ating general community quarantine starting September 1. ‘Yun ang recommendation ng MMC sa IATF na ituloy,” he said in an interview over dzBB.
(In the meeting, the mayors agreed to recommend to the IATF to maintain the GCQ status starting September 1.)
“Ang pinag-uusapan po ay hindi 15 days eh, kung hindi 30 days pero ‘yan po ay recommendation po sa IATF. Pero sila po ang magrerekomenda sa Presidente,” Olivarez added.
(The discussion is not only for 15 days but for 30 days of quarantine.)
Metro Manila mayors are recommending 30 days of quarantine so that the local government units can prepare for gradual opening of businesses and the economy.
“Kailangan magbukas na ‘yung ating economy kasi hirap na hirap na ang taumbayan pero this does not compromise ‘yung health protocols,” Olivarez said.
Aside from the opening of industries, mayors are likewise looking into implementing a shortened curfew, which will be from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
The local government units are likewise authorized to enforce localized or granular lockdowns where there is a spike of COVID-19 infections.
Metro Manila and other provinces were placed under GCQ starting August 19.
The IATF is set to meet on Monday to discuss quarantine recommendations as President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to announce within the day the new quarantine status of Metro Manila and other provinces beginning September 1.
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