Vice President Leni Robredo has called on the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emergent Infectious Diseases to standardize the parameters of quarantine phases. She also called for more intensive mass testing and contact tracing as the daily COVID-19 cases soared to almost 8,000.
During her Sunday radio show with broadcaster Ely Saludar, Robredo lamented how it has become “discretionary” for IATF to declare lockdown rules.
“Iyong mga quarantine natin, dapat sana science iyong nagdidikta, hindi iyong kung ano iyong napag-usapan. Dapat sana kapag ganito ang kaso ganito iyong phase (In our quarantine, it should be dictated by science, not just what they have agreed upon. If this is the number of cases, this should be the phase),” she said.
The vice president added: “Tama iyong lockdown, pero magiging tama lang iyong lockdown kung after ng lockdown, test, isolate, trace, saka treat. So ang tanong ko lang: ginagawa ba natin iyon? (It is right to impose a lockdown, but it will only be right if after the lockdown you test, isolate, trace and treat. So my only question is: are we doing that?)
On Saturday, the Philippines logged 7,999 new cases, the highest daily count of COVID-19 positive cases since the outbreak in March 2020.
The country has now a total of 656,056 confirmed positive cases, with 80,642 active ones, 562,484 recoveries, and 12,930 deaths.
Robredo suggested that mass testing, contract tracing, and isolation must be conducted even if authorities impose granular community quarantine amid the COVID-19 surge.
She noted many local government units did not follow when the IATF decided not to require quarantine and COVID-19 test for travelers under the uniform travel rules.
“Kapag nag-usap na ang IATF—ito, Ka Ely, ang tagal ko na ding sinasabi, na sana represented iyong mga LGU (When the IATF meets—I’ve been saying this for a long time, Ka Ely, that the LGU should be represented),” she said.
“Kung may mga representatives sana doon, mas smooth sana ito. Hindi iyong urong-sulong—kapag mag-declare, hindi pala acceptable, babawiin (If they have representatives there, it will be smoother. There is no flip-flopping—when they declare, then it is not acceptable, they will retract it).”