DOH still recommends senior citizens to stay at home despite calls to ease restrictions

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 12 2020 08:27 PM

Devotees attend mass at the Baclaran Church in Parañaque City under the general community quarantine on September 02, 2020. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday said the government is already looking into proposals to ease COVID-19 quarantine restrictions for senior citizens and minors.

However, it said it still thinks such vulnerable members of the population should stay indoors unless they need to buy essential items.

“Kami pa rin ay nagrerekomenda na senior citizens should stay at home kung wala naman pong kailangan gawin sa labas," Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a virtual briefing.

(We are still recommending that senior citizens should stay at home if they do not need to do anything important outside.)

"Kasi talagang at risk sila. Sila yug tinatamaan na mas malubha para sa sakit na ito.” 

(Because they are really the ones at risk here. They’re the ones who may get severely ill.)

Under the general community quarantine, those below 21 years old and above 60 years old are required to stay at home, except when they need to buy essential goods.

Vergeire said senior citizens and young people are not allowed out because they are “considered vulnerable.”

“At ito base sa syensya at ebidensya na kapag nagkasakit, mas nagkakaroon ng at risk sila of severe and critical cases or complications from COVID-19, compared to the other sectors of the population. Kaya natin sila pinangangalagaan,” she said.

(And this is based on science and evidence that when they get sick, they are more at risk of severe and critical cases or complications from COVID-19, compared to the other sectors of the population. That is why we care for them.)

As for the easing of curfew hours, the health official said the DOH will not object if the Inter-Agency Task Force agrees to it as long “as the minimum standards are complied with.” Vergeire said vulnerable sectors of the community should also still minimize their exposure to other people.

The Philippines has logged 342,816 total COVID-19 cases, as of Monday, of which, 43,332 are active.

Total recoveries are 293,152, while the death toll is 6,332.