Palace: Some areas back under tighter virus curbs next month
MANILA, Philippines — Several areas in the country are expected to be placed under stricter quarantine classifications in February, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said on Thursday amid reports of a rise in coronavirus infections.
Roque said the final quarantine classifications would be announced soon, once appeals from local governments were resolved. But there have been recommendations to escalate the restrictions in certain areas to general community quarantine from the more relaxed modified general community quarantine, he said.
The Cordillera Administrative Region and Davao Region are candidates for stricter quarantine because their hospital bed use rate for COVID-19 patients has risen to moderate levels, Roque said.
“One of the factors we consider for a higher quarantine classification is the bed utilization rate. So you can imagine, even if it has not been made public, that [Cordillera] and [Davao] are candidates for the escalation of community quarantine because they are at moderate risk,” he said in a press briefing.
There are still enough hospital beds and ventilators available, but their use is rising in certain areas, he added.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III earlier said the health-care use rate in Baguio City and Davao de Oro was at a critical level, while that in Nueva Vizcaya and Agusan del Norte was at a high level.
The areas currently under general community quarantine until the end of January are Metro Manila, Santiago City, Batangas, Tacloban City, Iligan City, Lanao del Sur, Davao City and Davao del Norte.
The rest of the country is under the more relaxed modified general community quarantine.
Concerned over the discovery of the British variant of the coronavirus in Bontoc, Mountain Province, the mayors of Metro Manila favor extending general community quarantine to the whole of February, according to Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez, head of the Metro Manila Council.
With more than half a million confirmed coronavirus infections and over 10,000 deaths, the Philippines is one of the Asian countries worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
On Thursday, the Department of Health (DOH) logged 1,169 additional coronavirus infections, raising the overall number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country to 519,575.
Quezon City had the highest number of new infections, 57, followed by Isabela province (54); Manila, Davao City and Rizal province (42 each).
The DOH reported 60 additional recoveries, bringing the total number of COVID-19 survivors to 475,596. But the death toll rose to 10,552 with the deaths of 71 more patients.
The deaths and recoveries left the country with 33,427 active cases, of which 84.8 percent were mild, 9.3 percent asymptomatic, 0.47 percent moderate, 2.3 percent severe, and 3.1 percent critical. —WITH REPORTS FROM PATRICIA DENISE M. CHIU AND KRISSY AGUILAR
The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.