MANILA – The government is checking on several indicators that would determine whether there is a need to adjust the measures being implemented to fight the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), Malacañang said on Wednesday.
This, after President Rodrigo Duterte sought stricter health measures in preparation for the possible local transmission of the “more aggressive and fatal” Covid-19 Delta variant in the country.
In an online presser, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said possible changes in anti-coronavirus measures would depend on the daily attack rate, two-week average attack rate, and health care utilization rate.
“Nakabase po iyan sa datos. So, babantayan pa rin natin ang daily attack rate, two-week average attack rate at ang healthcare utilization rate (That would be based on data. So, we will continue to monitor the daily attack rate, two-week average attack rate, and health care utilization rate),” Roque said.
The Philippines has so far recorded a total of 35 cases of Delta coronavirus variant. Eight of the 35 cases are still active.
The threat of the Delta variant prompted Metro Manila mayors to ask the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to suspend the policy allowing children as young as 5 years old to enjoy outdoor activities in areas placed under general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified GCQ (MGCQ).
Roque said the IATF-EID would hold a meeting on Thursday to discuss the mayors’ proposal.
“Matagal ko na pong sinasabi na napakahirap na balewalain ang mga suhestiyon ng mga alkalde na nagpapatupad po ng IATF policies (I keep on saying that it is difficult to ignore the suggestions of mayors who are implementing the IATF policies),” he said.
He also ensured that the government is intensifying its “Prevent-Detect-Isolate-Treatment-Reintegrate” strategy to prevent the possible local transmission of the Delta variant.
“Mananatiling parehas ang ating mga istratehiya ngunit mas papaigtingin pa po natin ang pagpapatupad ng minimum public health protocols (Our strategies will remain the same but we will step up the implementation of the minimum public health protocols),” he said.
In his pre-recorded Talk to the People aired Monday night, Duterte floated the possibility of imposing stricter restrictions, as he admitted that the presence of Delta variant in the country is a “cause for serious alarm and concern.”
On July 16, National Task Force Against Covid-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. assured the public that the country is “well-prepared” against the more transmissible Delta variant.
Medical experts have said Delta variant can infect up to eight or nine people, who in turn can infect another eight or nine people, and so on. (PNA)