With the country’s community quarantine extended until December 31, Malacañang has directed government agencies, including the police and military, to strictly implement health measures to curb the spread of the new coronavirus disease.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea issued a memorandum to the government offices about President Duterte’s approval of the community quarantine classification of cities and provinces for the month of December.
Metro Manila, Batangas, Iloilo City, Tacloban City, Iligan City, Lanao del Sur, Davao City, and Davao del Norte have been placed under general community quarantine (GCQ) from Dec. 1 to 31 “without prejudice to the declaration of localized enhanced community quarantine in critical areas,” based on the latest Palace memo. The rest of the country will stay under the least restrictive modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) in the same period.
In memorandum signed on Dec. 1, Medialdea said all areas must sustain health promotion and strict enforcement of minimum public health standards, especially in high-risk areas such as healthcare settings, wet markets, supermarkets, government offices, workplaces, and at home, among others.
Localized community quarantine must also be implemented in priority or critical areas with coronavirus transmission. Quarantine facilities in these areas must also be enhanced.
All returning citizens suspect and probable cases must also undergo immediate facility-based isolation.
The Palace also pushed for the scaling up of local health system capacity especially for community isolation and critical care, including mechanical ventilators, and intensive care units, isolation and ward beds for COVID-19 cases.
On contact tracing efforts, there must be complete and accurate data through COVID-Kaya and the Department of Health (DOH) DataCollect.
“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.
As of Dec. 1, the country has recorded more than 432,000 cases of coronavirus with 8,418 deaths.
The government has recently appealed to the public to continue to observe health protocols such as wearing of masks, frequent washing of hands, and physical distancing, to prevent a sudden spike in infections during the holiday season. The traditional Christmas parties and caroling have been prohibited as a precaution against the post-holiday surge of cases.