Davao City to ease into GCQ, but restrictions remain

May. 13, 2020

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The Inter-agency Taskforce on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has recommended Davao City along with ten cities to ease into general community quarantine (GCQ) after two months of lockdown.

Based on IATF Resolution number 35, Davao City along with forty-one provinces and 10 cities are considered as “moderate risk” for coronavirus (Covid-19) infection and the change in quarantine status will start on May 16 Saturday until May 31.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that the easing of restrictions is aligned with the World Health Organization’s parameters in the gradual lifting of the quarantine.

The IATF Resolution maintains that minimum public health standards should comply all the time.

Areas under General Community Quarantine as per omnibus guidelines mean that there is a limited movement to services and work between GCQ and modified GCQ and government offices and industries shall operate with a maximum of 75% workforce.

Transportation services, according to the resolution, are limited to support the government and private operations.

Education will follow the flexible learning arrangements and asked to operate at limited capacities to cater to students.

Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said in a radio interview on Tuesday said that the city will present its progress report on May 14 and comply with the IATF order.

“The IATF has the final say as to what category of quarantine will be imposed on the city,” she said.

Health capacity to be considered

However, the Department of Health Davao Region has yet to discuss the current Covid-19 data with the local chief executives.

Assistant DOH 11 Regional Director Dr. Lenny Joy Rivera pointed out the importance of having the capacity to detect, isolate, and manage Covid-19 infections in considering the lifting of the quarantine to avoid deaths and more infections to arise.

“Are we that ready? These are the ones that are assessed, “she said.

Rivera added that laboratories will have to increase its testing capacity to ensure that the region’s ready once the shifting to GCQ takes place.

The City Government of Davao has a total of 607 beds and 13 Covid-19 isolation facilities prepared for the surge of Covid-19 cases.

As observed by the health agency, the doubling time of the disease takes 15-19 days compared to the three to four days before the quarantine was implemented.

DOH 11 explained that the local government units make the decision as they will only provide technical assistance, knowledge on the track of infection, and epidemiological studies of the virus.

As of May 12, Davao Region has 177 Covid-19 cases with 23 deaths and 98 recoveries.(davaotoday.com)

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