IATF Okays Improved Screening, Surveillance In PH Ports

IATF Okays Improved Screening, Surveillance In PH Ports

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The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has approved the plan to step up screening and surveillance strategies in the country’s ports to contain the further spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the IATF-EID, through Resolution 53, approved on Thursday the recommendation of the National Task Force (NTF) against Covid-19 to hire more civilians for contact tracing and swabbing in ports of entry.

Roque, also acting as IATF-EID spokesperson, said Subic and other ports would be tapped as hubs for an international crew change.

“(It is) subject to established health protocols and guidelines,” he said in a press statement released on Friday.

Roque said the IATF-EID also approved the NTF Covid-19’s proposal to establish one-stop shops under the Department of Transportation for the uniform processing of arrivals in all gateways.

The move came as Covid-19 infections continue to spike in the country.

As of Thursday, the Philippines has logged 51,754 confirmed Covid-19 cases, with 12,813 recoveries and 1,314 deaths.

Most areas in the country have been placed under modified general community quarantine, a more relaxed form of community quarantine, to allow more industries to resume operations despite the Covid-19 outbreak.

Cebu City is the only place in the country where the enhanced community quarantine, the strictest quarantine classification, is imposed until July 15.

General community quarantine, on the other hand, is implemented in Metro Manila, Benguet, Cavite, Rizal, Lapu-Lapu City, Mandaue City, Leyte, Southern Leyte, and Cebu’s Talisay City, Minglanilla, and Consolacion.

In a televised public address aired Wednesday, President Rodrigo Duterte said he needs to be “very circumspect” in reopening the Philippine economy.

Duterte said the country can only afford the “gradual” resumption of economic activities, as he warned of a possible increase in Covid-19 cases, should he allow the total reopening of the economy. (PNA)

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