Metro Manila mayors ask for suspension of rule allowing kids outdoors
MANILA, Philippines — Metro Manila mayors are appealing to President Rodrigo Duterte to suspend the COVID-19 task force rule allowing kids aged 5 and above outdoors despite the threat of the COVID-19 Delta variant.
In the taped weekly briefing with Duterte, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Benhur Abalos aired the mayors’ concern that these children might become superspreaders considering they had not been included in the vaccination program.
“We mayors had a vote earlier. We talked, and we are asking the IATF [Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease] it would be possible to suspend in Metro Manila the implementation of the policy about those who are 5 years old,” Abalos said in Filipino.
“That’s because we have a case here and the number of cases increased slightly and those who are 5 to 17 [years old] are still not vaccinated and may possibly become superspreaders,” he added.
The IATF had earlier allowed children aged 5 years and up to select outdoor facilities in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified GCQ.
These outdoor areas include parks, playgrounds, beaches, biking and hiking trails, outdoor tourist sites, and other similar attractions.
As of this writing, the Philippines has so far detected 35 Delta variant cases nationwide, 11 of which were said to be “local cases.”
Of the local cases, six were detected in Northern Mindanao, two cases were detected in Metro Manila, one case has an address in Central Luzon but was tested in Metro Manila, and two more cases in Western Visayas.
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