MANILA, Philippines — With the current number of COVID-19 infections in the country, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez believes it is not yet time to shift into a more relaxed quarantine restriction.
During Thursday’s (April 15) Laging Handa briefing, Lopez said reverting back to a more relaxed general community quarantine (GCQ) will depend on the utilization rate of major hospitals in the country.
“Kapag further bumaba ang COVID cases at bumaba ang utilization rate, maraming bakante, ibig sabihin pwede tayong magluwag ulit to GCQ,” he said.
In March, World Health Organization (WHO) Country Representative Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe expressed concern over alleged COVID-19 clustering in workplaces.
Lopez said the recent spike in the country’s COVID-19 cases shouldn’t be blamed on the return of workers because the clusters of cases in workplaces was only about 20 percent since the reopening of the economy.
“Base sa datos, ang contribution ng mga cases — mga clusters ng ilan sa workplaces — ay around 20% lamang,” Lopez said. “Isa nga sa observation bago nagtaas muli ang cases ay ang pagdami ng non-essential activities and gatherings.”
For this reason, the official said that when the country reverts to GCQ, he would not recommend the easing of restrictions on non-essential gatherings.
“I would think that once we move to GCQ, isa pa rin ‘yan sa ipagpapatuloy munang ipagbawal – mga gatherings na non-essential,” he said.