IATF reverts Davao City’s quarantine to GCQ

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DAVAO CITY — The city’s quarantine status has been reverted back to General Community Quarantine (GCQ), this was the decision of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (AITF-EID) after it noted the increasing number of Coronavirus cases in the city.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque in a press briefing on Friday said the AITF has reverted the quarantine status to avert further increase and to contain the movement of the people.

On Wednesday, National Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19 Chief Implementer and Presidential Adviser on Peace Process Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said he is not keen to recommend that the city be placed under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) or Modified ECQ despite the surge of cases here. 

“We are not recommending to place it under ECQ because we have to balance the economy and livelihood,” Galvez said during the meeting of Regional COVID-19 Inter-Agency Task Force (RIATF) 11 on Wednesday at Camp Quintin Merecido, Police Regional Office 11.

Galvez said the Department of Health (DOH) has seen only certain areas, particularly in the riverside of the city which recorded high in terms of cases that need to be contained. 

“Yun lang ang i-lockdown natin. Dapat dun sa area na yun, mag ECQ tayo or mag MECQ tayon dun yun i-declare (We should lockdown that area. We will declare ECQ or MECQ in that area), he said. 

He said the local government could not do this, it will be difficult to control the surge of cases. 

On Thursday night, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said will abide by the AITF recommendation.

Massive Isolation Facility

Galvez said other possible factors noted were patients who have undergone home quarantine instead of going to the Temporary Treatment and Monitoring Facilities (TTMF). 

“Meaning, pagka-nagkaroon po tayo ng home quarantine, ang susunod po diyan is community transmission. Pagka-community transmission na, mahirapan na tayong ma-control (Meaning, if we have many home quarantines, next to that is community transmission. If that happens, it will be too difficult to control),” he said.

He said the city also has weakness in contact-tracing because some of the first-person having direct contact with a COVID-19 positive were not immediately put in isolation. 

Galvez said there were the same experiences in the National Capital Region, Laguna, and Cebu that after these areas reached up to 55 percent of home quarantine, the numbers immediately spiked up. 

He said the national IATF is proposing to make massive isolation placing people who are in-home- quarantine toward a quarantine facility if the local government will allow them to intervene. 

“Tatanggalin talaga natin yung mga home quarantine. Magkakakroon tayo ng Oplan Kalinga dito (We should remove those people who are placed under home quarantine. We will bring the Oplan Kalinga here),” he said. 

Galvez recommended to the Mayor to allow the IATF, to form a special team, where personnel deployed in Cebu and Bacolod are coming here to move patients under home quarantine to an isolation facility. 

“Kapag ma-crack-out natin ang naka-home quarantine at tiyak na-test natin ang mga first-contact, ma-isolate agad natin yan within four weeks at bababa ang kaso (If we remove all patients under home quarantine and test and isolate the first-contacts within four weeks, the number of cases will decrease),” he said. 

Duterte-Carpio has earlier issued Executive No. 62 which specified the guidelines for Davao residents and those entering the city.-Editha Z. Caduaya

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