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DOH to convene COVID-19 task force in reaction to WHO declaration

The Department of Health (DOH) will review health guidelines after the World Health Organization declared that COVID-19 is no longer a global health emergency.

"The Department of Health (DOH) welcomes the proclamation of the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding the lifting of the Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) on COVID-19," the Health Department said in a statement.

The Emergency Committee of the world body met on Thursday and posted the recommendation.

The move, DOH said, is a reflection of "effective and collaborative" efforts to contain the disease and to jumpstart the economy.

There is still work to be done though, the agency adds.

"The DOH will convene the members of the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to discuss and reassess policies and other guidelines affected by the declaration."

The DOH did not mention the details of its plans regards to the implementation of the COVID-19 protocols as of posting time.

Independent monitoring group OCTA earlier, however, revealed that COVID-19 positivity rate may increase in the coming days.

The group reported the positivity rate — or the percentage of people who were found positive for the coronavirus among the total number of individuals tested — reached 20.4% as of May 3.

“We’re expecting na tataas pa ang positivity rate baka umabot siya ng up to 25%. Di lang ako ang gumawa ng projections na 'yan. Even other experts foresee that,” said OCTA fellow Dr. Guido David in a public briefing.

(We’re expecting that the positivity rate may increase and even reach 25%. This is not based on my projections only, other experts also foresee that.)

The Health Department will review all issues regarding COVID-19 response.

"The DOH guarantees the Filipino people that all factors in determining our next action in line with the WHO’s proclamation will be considered and discussed for the approval of the President," the agency said. -- BAP, GMA Integrated News