DOH may recommend delaying revised age restrictions in MGCQ areas
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) may recommend delaying the implementation of eased age restrictions in modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) areas due to the threat of new Covid-19 variants.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said Monday that health experts consulted by the DOH have suggested delaying the implementation of revised age restrictions to protect children from Covid-19.
“Ngayon po na lumalabas itong mas maraming variant na nakikita natin, at nakikita natin na may mga bata pong apektado sa latest cases natin, ang DOH po ay nakipag-usap sa aming mga experts at ang recommendation po ng experts ay huwag muna po at i-delay ang pagpapatupad, so we might be recommending that sa IATF,” she said in an interview with ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo when asked of the DOH’s recommendation on the eased age restrictions.
(Now that there are more Covid-19 variants and we see that there are children who were affected in latest cases, the DOH has spoken with experts and they recommended that we delay its implementation. So we might be recommending that to the IATF [Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.])
Vergeire, however, clarified that only the more infectious Covid-19 variant from the United Kingdom is the new variant that has so far been detected in the Philippines.
Last Friday, Malacañang announced that the government will allow those aged 10 to 65 to go out of their homes in areas under MGCQ starting February 1.
Under the previous policy of the IATF, only individuals aged 15 to 65 years old are allowed outside of their residences during community quarantine. However, all cities in Metro Manila, which is still under GCQ, have not allowed children aged below 18 years old into malls and have also barred minors from leaving their homes for leisure purposes.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez earlier said he would propose to the IATF to let 10-year-old children go out with their parents to boost consumer spending and further revive the economy.
Malacañang has justified the government’s decision to allow children as young as 10 to go out of their homes in MGCQ areas, saying this will be “good for their physical, social and mental health” and will help in the country’s economic recovery.
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