DOH may ask IATF to defer relaxing age restriction in MGCQ areas
The Department of Health (DOH) is planning to recommend to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) to suspend the implementation of new policy lowering to at least 10 years old those who could go out in areas under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).
This was after three minors were infected with new UK COVID-19 variant.
“Now that we have this new variant and three teenagers were also infected, we are thinking of recommending the deferment of allowing kids to go out, so that we can prevent more infections,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a televised briefing last Saturday.
The three patients were among the 12 cases recorded in Bontoc, Mountain Province where the new variant was detected.
Vergeire however said they will still listen to the decision of the IATF and hope that there will still be safeguards to prevent further increase of COVID-19 cases in the country.
The IATF recently approved to lower age restriction to below 10 years old starting February 1 in MGCQ areas while it encouraged the local government units in places under general community quarantine to do the same.
“If only all people will be implementing or complying with the minimum public health standards strictly and then no one will get sick. We see our trends increasing especially now that we have a new variant and this variant can increase the transmissibility,” she said.
The Health official reminded the parents, especially those who are bringing their kids outside, to always follow the minimum health protocols.
“If there is no need for the children to go out, please let’s avoid it for now, because we are seeing an increase in our cases and the variants have been detected already in some parts of the country,” Vergeire said.
As of Sunday, the DOH reported 1,949 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total cases in the country to 513,619.
The highest number of new cases was recorded in Davao City with 99, Quezon City with 98, Cavite with 74, Baguio City with 73, and Leyte with 63.
The Health department said there were 7,729 patients that have already recovered, bringing the total number of recoveries to 475,612 while 53 patients succumbed to the virus, bringing the total fatalities to 10,242.
The DOH said 27,765 were active COVID-19 cases in the country.
Of the active cases, 83.3 percent were mild, 9.1 percent were asymptomatic, 4.4 percent were critical, 2.7 percent were severe, and 0.53 percent were moderate. Ella Dionisio/DMS