Despite COVID-19 variants, DOH says stricter quarantine for NCR not yet discussed
MANILA, Philippines — Despite the presence of COVID-19 variants from the United Kingdom and South Africa, and two other “mutations of concern,” the possibility of implementing a stricter community quarantine in Metro Manila was not discussed during the meeting of government agencies with mayors of the metropolis, the Department of Health (DOH) said Thursday.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in an online press briefing that the DOH and the mayors have agreed to continue implementing a localized response to the increase of COVID-19 cases in the region.
“Napagkasunduan po doon syempre we need to have a stricter implementation of our PDITR (Prevent-Detect-Isolate-Treat-Reintegrate) strategy. Wala po sa usapan ‘yung maghihigpit tayo ulit ng buong Metro Manila, ‘yung mga tinatawag na stricter community quarantine measures, wala po ‘yun sa usapan. Ang usapan, each locality should have their localized response,” she said.
(We have agreed that we need to have a stricter implementation of the PDITR strategy. Placing Metro Manila under stricter community quarantine was not discussed. What we agreed on is that each locality should have their localized response.)
According to Vergeire, present during the meeting on Wednesday were Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, MMDA Chairman Benjamin Abalos, MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Bernardo Florece Jr., DILG Usec. Epimaco Densing III, and other health experts.
The DOH said on Wednesday it has observed a “spike” in new COVID-19 cases this week in the country.
“The plateauing trend seen in the past month was broken by a spike in new COVID cases this week nationally,” Dr. Alethea de Guzman, medical specialist at the DOH Epidemiology Bureau, said in an online media forum.
During the meeting with mayors, experts also proposed the adoption of a localized Dharavi Model for “intensive contact tracing, intensive, quarantining and isolation” which was implemented in specific areas in the country during the surge of COVID-19 in July and August last year, according to Vergeire. — Liezelle Soriano Roy, Trainee
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