The government is encouraging senior citizens to stay at home “as a general rule” to avoid contracting the new coronavirus disease.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque explained that the home quarantine reminder for seniors aims to ensure their protection from the coronavirus infection, citing the high fatality rate among the elderly.
Roque was reacting to the appeal made by Senior Citizens’ party-list Rep. Rodolfo Ordanes to President Duterte to include seniors up to 70 years old to go out of their houses. Ordanes sought the expansion of the age-based stay-at-home restriction in a letter to the President amid concerns that three out of 10 Filipino seniors suffer from depression.
“Lumalabas po talaga na napakataas po talaga ng fatality rate mula po sa mga 66 hanggang 80. Sila po talaga iyong namamatay dahil sa COVID-19 (Data shows the fatality rate between the age of 66 and 80 is very high. They died due to COVID-19),” Roque said during a Palace press briefing Monday.
“So para rin po ito sa kabutihan ng mga senior citizens na puwede naman po silang lumabas para kumuha ng essentials at para magtrabaho kung sila ay nagtatrabaho pero as a matter of general rule, kinakailangan po ay homeliners muna po sila (This is for the benefit of the senior citizens. They may go out to get essentials and work if they still work but as a general rule, they must be homeliners for the meantime),” he said.
In line with the further reopening of the economy, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Infectious Diseases (IATF) recently approved the adjustment of age-based stay-at-home restrictions, particularly allowing persons from 15 to 65 years of age to go out. Local government units have been given leeway to impose a higher age limit for minors, depending on the coronavirus situation in their areas.
Prior to the latest IATF decision, persons below 21 and above 60 years old are required to stay at home “at all times” except for essential activities like going to work or buying necessities.
The revised IATF guideline now reads, “Any person below 15 years old, those who are over 65 of age, those with immunodeficiency, comorbidity, or other health risks and pregnant women, including any person who resides with the aforementioned, shall be required to remain in their residences at all times, except when indispensable under the circumstances for obtaining essential goods and services, or for work in industries and offices or such other activities.”