Some restrictions are likely to be restored amid the reported local cases of the more transmissible Delta variant of the coronavirus, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Wednesday.
Roque did not elaborate, but he could be referring to the policy prohibiting children aged 5 years to 17 from going outdoors.
"Napatunayan na sa pamamagitan ng siyensya na itong Delta variant ay mas nakakahawa, mas nakakamatay, kaya sabi ni presidente ay baka [maghigpit ulit] at ngayon po ay mukhang sigurado na na magbabalik po tayo ng ilang paghihigpit," he told Unang Balita.
(It is scientifically proven that the Delta variant is more contagious and that's why the president said we may have to restore some restrictions and that seems like a sure thing already.)
Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, or IATF, will meet on Thursday to discuss, among others, the recommendation of experts to suspend the policy allowing children aged 5 to 17 to go outside their homes.
Metro Manila mayors have made the same recommendation to the IATF, the government's policy-making body in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Ang mga eksperto po natin, kasama ang ilang pediatrician at iba pang siyensya, ay nagpulong na rin at nagkaroon na sila ng rekomendasyon tungkol dun sa pagpapalabas ng mga kabataan mula edad 5 pataas hanggang 17 at ito ay ipiprisinta nila sa IATF sa Huwebes," Roque said.
(Our experts, including pediatricians, have met and come up with a recommendation regarding the policy allowing children aged 5 to 17 years to go outside and they will present it to the IATF on Thursday.)
During a public address on Monday night, President Rodrigo Duterte said the Philippines may have to reimpose stricter restrictions after the Department of Health confirmed the incidence of local cases of the Delta variant of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
Duterte said the reported local Delta variant cases "is a call for serious alarm and concern."
"We may need to reimpose stricter restrictions to avoid mass gatherings and avoid super spreader event," Duterte said.
Asked regarding the proposal to bring back the NCR Plus bubble, Roque, meanwhile, said the Department of Health is "monitoring the numbers" in Metro Manila and other areas with reported high number of COVID-19 cases.
"Wala pang ganung usapin pero ang ginagawa po ngayon ng DOH at ng ating epidimiological bureau ay binabantayan ang numero sa buong Metro Manila at Plus 8 bubble," he said.
(There's still no talk about bringing back the NCR Plus bubble but our DOH and epidimiological bureau are monitoring the numbers in Metro Manila and the Plus 8 bubble.)
He added that in Metro Manila, contract tracing and isolation in connection with Delta variant cases have been effective. —KBK, GMA News