Palace calls for observance of minimum health protocols; ramping up of local quarantine, critical care facilities

Published October 30, 2020, 5:57 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

With the country’s new quarantine status for November, Malacañang has ordered the continued implementation of minimum public health protocols, ramping up of local quarantine and critical care facilities, among others. 

Salvador Medialdea
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea. (RENE LUMAWAG/Presidential Photo/MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea has issued a memorandum informing the heads of government agencies and local government units that President Duterte has approved the quarantine classification of provinces and cities from Nov. 1 to 30 and directing them to strictly observe the health and safety guidelines.

Metro Manila, Batangas, Iloilo City, Bacolod City, Tacloban City, Iligan City and Lanao del Sur will be placed under general community quarantine (GCQ) next month “without prejudice to the declaration of localized enhanced community quarantine in critical areas,” according to the latest Palace memo.  All other parts of the country will stay under the least restrictive modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) in the same period.

The November quarantine level was recommended by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), the high-level policy-making government body on the pandemic response.

In a memorandum dated Oct. 30, Medialdea said all areas must continue implement the following measures such as minimum public health standards, especially their uniformed implementation in high-risk areas such as healthcare settings, wet markets, supermarkets, government offices and workplaces, among others.

He said localized community quarantine must be implemented in priority or critical areas with coronavirus transmission including in private and public establishments. The availability of quarantine facilities must also be ramped up.

Also, Medialdea said all returning citizens suspect and probable cases must undergo immediately facility-based isolation.

There must also be “scaling up of local health system capacity especially for community isolation and critical care, including dedicated mechanical ventilators, and ICU (intensive care unit), isolation and ward beds for COVID-19 cases.”

On contact tracing efforts, he said a complete and accurate data through COVID-Kaya and the Department of Health (DOH) DataCollect must also be submitted. 

“All heads of departments, agencies, offices, instrumentalist of government, including the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine Coast Guard, GOCCs (government owned and -controlled corporations), GFIs (government financial institutions), SUCs (state universities and colleges) and LGUs are hereby directed to strictly observe and implement the applicable guidelines provider under the Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of Community Quarantine in the Philippines, as amended, issued by the IATF, and other relevant issuances,” Medialdea said.

The country’s cases of coronavirus have reached 378,933 with 7,185 deaths as of Friday. The health department reported 2,006 new confirmed infections and 38 additional deaths.