No Christmas COVID lockdown unless cases spike — DOH

Friday, December 11th, 2020. Filed under: News Philippine News

MANILA, Dec 11 (Mabuhay) — The Department of Health on Friday said there will be no adjustment of the general community quarantine in Metro Manila unless COVID-19 cases spike.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III rejected rumors that the government would impose a stricter COVID-19 lockdown before Christmas.

“Hindi mababago. Nasa GCQ pa rin tayo, walang katotohanan ‘yung mga balita na mag-e-ECQ or MECQ ngayong Kapaskuhan. Sabi nga nila December 23 daw, walang katotohanan iyan,” he said.

However, he said a tighter lockdown could still happen if there is a boom in COVID-19 cases. “Unless na may biglang sipa ng kaso, mag rerekomenda ulit ang [Inter-Agency Task Force] sa Pangulo,” he said.

The government warned against a hoax that another lockdown will be imposed from Dec. 23 this year to Jan. 3 next year.

Metro Manila remains under general community quarantine until Dec. 31, where not all businesses are allowed to operate at full capacity.

The DOH on Thursday reported 1,383 new COVID-19 cases or a total of 445,540 confirmed cases in the Philippines.

Additional cases have remained below 2,000 for each of the last 11 days, and below 1,500 for the last 3 days. Thursday’s tally, though, does not include the results of 9 testing laboratories that failed to submit on time.

Leading among areas with the most number of new cases are Quezon City with 83, Laguna with 75, Manila City with 68, Bulacan with 65, and Davao City with 61.

In the interview, Duque also warned the public against the use of “torotot” or children’s horns or trumpets, whistles and other noisemakers that could spread COVID-19 infection.

“Ipagbabawal namin ‘yan dahil makakatulong ‘yan sa pagkalat ng virus lalo na kapag may asymptomatic, baka pagmulan pa ng pagtaas ng kaso kaya iwasan na natin,” he said.

“Nakapagsakripsyo na tayo ng 9 na buwan. Hintay-hintayin na lang natin hanggang dumating ang bakuna. Huwag tayong susugal sa panandaliang kaligayahan,” he added.

The COVID-19 vaccine may become available to the Philippines in the first or second quarter of next year, Duque said.

“Best case scenario baka mga March, towards the end o the first quarter of 2021, o mga second quarter na mga April. Sa ngayon yun global supply ‘di pa akma sa demand. Patuloy ang paglilikha ng bakuna ng mga naturang vaccine manufacturing companies,” he said. (MNS)

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