DOH still studying indicators for decision on Metro Manila quarantine status

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 13 2020 03:25 PM

Physical distancing and other protocols to curb the spread of COVID-19 are implemented inside a mall in Quezon City on May 27, 2020. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - An official of the Department of Health (DOH) on Saturday said information coming out on the quarantine status for Metro Manila come June 15 remain baseless as the Inter-Agency Task Force on the COVID-19 response has yet to issue its decision on the matter.

“Wala pa tayong nailalabas na IATF recommendation ukol sa June 15 decision. Lahat ng lumalabas sa ngayon wala pang basehan. Ito ay pinag-aaralang mabuti," said Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire at the Laging Handa briefing.

(We haven't released any IATF recommendation about the June 15 decision. All that's coming out now have no basis. We're studying this carefully.)

She said indicators factored into deciding the quarantine level include the time confirmed cases double, and level of usage of critical care facilities in hospitals. 

Metro Manila shifted to general community quarantine on June 1, following over two months of a strict lockdown, with businesses and transport operations resuming partially to spur economic activity. 

This, as the country continued to log new cases: as of June 12, the Philippines has recorded 24,787 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 1,052 deaths and 5,454 recoveries.

The DOH reported 336 fresh cases on Friday. Of the figure, 97 were from the National Capital Region, 92 from Region 7, and the remaining 147 were from other regions. Fresh cases are those validated within the past 3 days.

Vergeire said that whether or not the doubling case rate increased or decreased, what's important is that the public continues to observe measures against the virus. A lower doubling time indicates slower spread of infection.
 
“Patuloy pa rin 'yung mga ginagawa nating preventive measures para tuloy-tuloy nating malabanan ang COVID-19,” said Vergeire.

(We continue to follow preventive measures so we can continue the fight against COVID-19.)

Vergeire reiterated the DOH warning on the use of antibody test kits that are sold online. 

“Lumalaganap na po ang pagbenta at paggamit nitong rapid antibody test. Nakikita na nating sa mga online sellers na nagbebenta sila. Kailangang maging sigurado ang ating mamamayan sa paggamit nito,” she said.

(The use of rapid antibody test kits is becoming prevalent. We see online sellers selling this. People have to be sure when they use this.)

She said these test kits should be registered with the Food and Drug Administration and validated by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).

Officials earlier warned such rapid test kits could result in false positives.