No recommendation yet on Luzon-wide quarantine: Palace

No recommendation yet on Luzon-wide quarantine: Palace

MANILA – The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has yet to make its recommendation on the possible lifting or extension of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said on Saturday.

Nograles said the IATF-EID already discussed the expiration of the community quarantine on Wednesday night.

The task force, however, could not decide on the fate of the community quarantine yet because there is still no “conclusive” data about the Covid-19 cases in the country, Nograles said in a virtual press briefing aired on state-run PTV-4.

Nograles said scientists, epidemiologists, doctors, and the academe are still analyzing the available data.

He said the IATF-EID needs to be “very careful” in making a decision on what would be its recommendation to President Rodrigo Duterte.

“So dahil nga hindi pa tayo handa na magbigay ng recommendation, patuloy pa rin ang aming pag-aaral (Since we are not ready yet, we continue to make a study). We have to be very, very certain that’s why we have to be very, very careful kung ano ang irerekomenda namin (about what will be our recommendation),” said Nograles, spokesperson of IATF-EID.

Nograles noted that the IATF-EID merely approved five parameters proposed by its sub-technical working group on data analytics for deciding on the total or partial lifting, or the possible extension of the community quarantine.

One of the adopted parameters, Nograles said, is the trends in the Covid-19 epidemiological curve, which include the “doubling time, acceleration, or deceleration of new cases.”

Nograles said the IATF-EID would also consider the capacity of the health care system, including the “number and availability of quarantine, isolation, and treatment facilities; capability to mount contact tracing; availability of personal protective equipment to front-liners; and the testing capacity of the country.”

He added that the task force would also look into social, economic, and security factors.

“For this purpose, the Department of Health is hereby directed to convene all concerned agencies and to finalize the aggregation and analysis of all relevant data applicable to the contained area, subject to the deliberation of the IATF and final determination by the President,” Nograles said.

The island of Luzon was placed under enhanced community quarantine until April 12 to arrest the spread of Covid-19 in the country.

To date, the Philippines has 3,018 confirmed Covid-19 cases, with 136 deaths and 52 recoveries.

Nograles said the sub-technical working was also directed to apply the give parameters and come up with recommendations with regard to the possible implementation of a general or enhanced community quarantine in localities in the Visayas and Mindanao. Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos /PNA – northboundasia.com