The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) is finalizing the guidelines on the general community quarantine (GCQ) expected to start in low-risk areas on May 1.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the IATF is discussing the guidelines which he will be announcing once these have been finalized.
“The guidelines will be approved today and we will discuss them tomorrow,” he said in a virtual presser on Monday.
Roque said the IATF will also discuss whether barbershops and salons would be allowed to operate under the GCQ since it would be difficult to maintain social distancing.
“Iyan po ay dini-discuss kasi po ang problema diyan sa mga salons, barbero eh imposible po ang social distancing diyan (That is being discussed because the problem with salons and barbers is that it’s impossible to observe social distancing there),” he said.
Meanwhile, Roque thanked Filipinos for observing protocols under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) following the report of the Philippine National Police (PNP) that quarantine violators have dropped by 45 percent.
“Nagpapasalamat po kami sa taumbayan dahil nakiusap naman po ang Presidente at mukhang pinakinggan naman po ang pakiusap. Sana po iyong mga patuloy na pasaway, makinig na kayo sa pakiusap ni Presidente (We want to thank the public because the President requested them to follow protocol and they granted his request. I hope those troublemakers will also listen to the President’s request),” he said.
He also expressed hope that once the GCQ is implemented, the public would still observe social distancing, personal hygiene, and other preventive measures to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
On Thursday, President Rodrigo Duterte approved the IATF-EID’s recommendations to extend the ECQ in high-risk areas for Covid-19 until May 15 and place the areas considered moderate-risk and low-risk of the coronavirus infections under GCQ from May 1 to 15.
Select workers in non-essential services are allowed to go to work, once areas that have a low or moderate risk of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infections are placed under GCQ.
Under the GCQ, non-leisure shops in malls operating in low-risk or moderate-risk areas are likewise allowed to resume their operations.
Roque explained that GCQ would also be eventually implemented in areas that are still under ECQ.
Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Pangasinan, Benguet, Albay, Catanduanes, Davao del Norte, Davao City, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Antique, Iloilo, Cebu, and Cebu City are placed under ECQ until May 15 since these are considered as high-risk areas.
The IATF-EID also classified areas into moderate-risk and low-risk of spreading Covid-19 and placed them under GCQ.
High-risk and moderate-risk areas are still subject to further evaluation.
Low-risk areas will no longer be placed under GCQ after May 15 “if there is no deterioration.”
As of Monday, health authorities reported a total of 7,777 confirmed cases of Covid-19, 511 deaths, and 932 recoveries. (PNA)