Children below 18 years old would have to stay at home as the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) suspended its earlier resolution allowing them outdoors due to the threat of the highly contagious Delta variant, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said Friday.
“Ang latest natin diyan ay hindi muna natin papayagan sa ngayon para lang makasiguro tayo…dahil nagkaroon na tayo ng Delta variant, nagkaisa ang IATF na iatras muna itong resolution na ito (The latest is we won’t allow [kids outdoors] just to make sure…because there’s Delta variant [in the country], the IATF decided to recall this resolution),” Duque said in a television interview.
Starting July 23, the quarantine status in Metro Manila and four other provinces has been upgraded to stricter general community quarantine (GCQ) “with heightened restrictions”.
This, after President Rodrigo Duterte approved the IATF-EID recommendation to place Metro Manila, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Davao de Oro, and Davao del Norte under a more restrictive GCQ from July 23 to 31.
Earlier, children ages five years old and above living in areas under general community quarantine and modified general community quarantine could go outdoors wearing masks and face shields through IATF Resolution No. 5.
On Thursday, the Department of Health reported that health authorities have detected local transmission of the Delta variant in the country following a stringent phylogenetic analysis and case investigation.
So far, the country’s total number of Delta cases is 47 – 36 are recovered cases, eight are active cases and three are deaths.
“Kung makita naman na hindi hindi naman patuloy na tumataas, lalo na dun sa NCR, baka puwedeng ibalik natin ‘yung Resolution 125 kung saan pinahihintulutan na puwedeng lumabas ang mga bata (If an increase [in Delta variant cases] is not seen, especially in the NCR [National Capital Region], we may implement Resolution 125 again allowing kids outdoors),” Duque said.
However, he added, these children must be with their parents or guardians and must adhere to minimum public health standards when outdoors. (PNA)