IATF to discuss Cebu City's relaxed mask mandate - DOH

Davinci Maru, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 05 2022 01:35 PM | Updated as of Sep 05 2022 02:02 PM

Cebu City hall employees on Sept. 5, 2022. Photo courtesy of the Cebu City News & Information Facebook page.
Cebu City hall employees on Sept. 5, 2022. Photo courtesy of the Cebu City News & Information Facebook page.

MANILA — The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases will convene Monday afternoon to discuss issues including Cebu City's voluntary face mask policy, according to the Department of Health.

DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire made this remark in response to a new executive order issued by the Cebu City government setting instead its relaxed mask mandate under trial.

"First, we are not aware of this proposal. Second, lahat po ito, pag-uusapan mamaya. May IATF po kami. We have convened the IATF. It's going to happen at 2 p.m.," she said in a press briefing Monday.

"Pag-uusapan po ito ng mga ahensiya na kasama natin para magkaroon po tayo ng rekomendasyon sa ating Presidente."

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama signed Monday EO No. 6, declaring the trial period of the "non-obligatory" use of face mask in open spaces from Sept. 1 to Dec. 31, 2022.

The "non-obligatory" policy will be automatically lifted should there be a surge in COVID-19 cases, the EO reads.

Vergeire reiterated that face mask provides up to 80 percent protection against the coronavirus.

"Ang mask nakakaprotekta din sa atin pagka merong ibang sakit katulad nitong respiratory infections that are here in the country. Nandiyan ang flu, nandiyan ang pulmonia, at iba pang mga sakit," she said.

To loosen restrictions, Vergeire said certain conditions must be met, such as high vaccine booster uptake and low virus infections.

According to the DOH COVID-19 tracker, Cebu City recorded 37 fresh COVID-19 cases on Sunday, raising its tally to 59,617. Of the figure, 57,633 were tagged as recovered, 1,646 as fatalities while 338 are active cases.

Latest DOH data also showed it has a bed occupancy rate of 29.2 percent (142 out of 486 COVID-19 beds). The level of occupancy rate of 10 hospitals are considered low risk, two are at moderate risk, while one is at high risk.

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Courtesy of DOH