Continue observing health protocols this month – Palace

Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) – November 1, 2020 – 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang reminded the public yesterday to continue observing health protocols, after the government issued new quarantine classifications for November, while the country moves to increase economic activity amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) had classified the National Capital Region and six other areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) status for the entire month of November.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea issued a memorandum to all heads of departments, agencies, offices and instrumentalities of the government, government-owned or controlled corporations (GOCCs), government financial institutions (GFIs) and local government units (LGUs) to enforce quarantine protocols at all times.

“All areas shall continue to implement… minimum public health standards, especially the uniform implementation in high-risk areas such as healthcare settings, wet markets, supermarkets, government offices and workplaces, among others,” the official said in a three-page memo dated Oct. 30.

Apart from NCR, Batangas, the cities of Iloilo, Bacolod, Tacloban, Iligan and the province of Lanao del Sur are placed under GCQ from Nov. 1 to 30. The rest of the country is under modified GCQ.

Depending on the rate of increase of cases, Medialdea said the LGUs may declare localized enhanced community quarantine in critical areas, if necessary.

Medialdea directed concerned agencies to ensure the availability of identified quarantine facilities in priority/critical areas with community transmission in coordination with the regional IATF.

“All heads of departments, agencies, offices and instrumentalities of the government, including the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine Coast Guard, GOCCs, GFIs, SUCs (state universities and colleges) and LGUs are hereby directed to strictly observe and implement the applicable guidelines provided under the Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of Community Quarantine in the Philippines,” Medialdea said.

The Palace also mandated that all returning citizens, suspect and probable cases shall be asked to be placed in facility-based isolation.

Medialdea also sees the need to boost further the local health system capacity, especially for community isolation and critical care, including dedicated mechanical ventilators and ICU, isolation and ward beds for COVID-19 cases.

He also ordered the submission of complete and accurate data through COVID-Kaya and the DOH DataCollect.

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