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    Duterte to announce fresh quarantine status on July 15

    MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to announce fresh community quarantine classifications on Wednesday, July 15, the same day the existing guidelines end, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in his July 13 press briefing in Malacañan Palace.

    Duterte to announce fresh quarantine status on July 15
    President Rodrigo Roa Duterte talks to the people after holding a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members at the Presidential Guest House in Panacan, Davao City on July 7, 2020. Photo Credit: PCOO

    On Tuesday, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) will have a meeting to decide on the appeals of local government units for July 16-31 guidelines.

    "Posible pong Miyerkoles maanunsyo ang classification dahil mayroon pa pong last meeting ang IATF bukas po, araw ng Tuesday para sa final recommendation sa Presidente," Roque said.

    Areas with recorded increase in severe and critical cases of COVID-19 over the past few days might have stricter restrictions, COVID-19 task force chief implementer Carlito Galvez, Jr. said.

    "May mga areas po na mag-escalate considering na nakita po natin na tumataas po ang ating mga severe at critical cases, at the same time yung new cases tumataas din po," he said.

    'Hybrid' lockdown

    For Metro Manila, transitioning to a more relaxed quarantine is unlikely as this point. Mayors of the capital region are recommending to maintain the general community quarantine (GCQ) scheme.

    "Hybrid" lockdown is also being considered by local officials to take balance between economy and public health.

    “Meron po silang [metro mayors] recommendation na parang ‘hybrid’ pero pag-uusapan pa po namin sa IATF ‘yan at may mga appeal pa po ang ibang mga lugar,” Galvez said.

    “Ang hinihiling po nila ay magkaroon ng ‘stricter’ ang control, [so] we can open other economic activity kaya nga tinatawag nilang parang hybrid,” he added that some local government units (LGUs) wanted to ease certain quarantine protocols.

    “Hybrid… ang isang quarantine control ay imi-maintain po natin ang restrictions sa social control, but we will open up some economic activity provided the economic sector would be responsible for their workers,” he furthered.

    Major hospitals in NCR, the St. Luke's Medical Center and Makati Medical Center, reported that their dedicated beds for critically ill COVID-19 patients are already at full capacity.

    Spike of COVID-19 cases

    Roque said the government recognizes the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the country and assured the public that the situation can be controlled.

    Four anti-COVID czars were assigned by the Palace to lead each of the components of the government’s COVID-19 strategy, which are testing, tracing, isolation, and treatment.

    READ: PH gov’t assigns 4 anti-COVID czars

    Cebu City is currently under the strictest category, enhanced community quarantine, after the authorities reported a spike in COVID-19 infections. Meanwhile, most areas of the country were placed under the most relaxed modified GCQ.

    The number of COVID-19 cases in the country climbed further to 57,006 on Monday, July 13, after 836 new cases were reported. DOH likewise announced 4,325 recoveries, bringing the total recoveries to 20,371. Death toll rose to 1,599 after the 65 deaths logged today.

    — The Summit Express

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