President Rodrigo Roa Duterte approved the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to place Cebu Province from Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) to General Community Quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions from August 1 to August 15, 2021.
Also re-classified was the GCQ with heightened restrictions status of Laguna and Aklan, which has been finalized to MECQ from August 1 to August 15, 2021.
Apayao is likewise placed from GCQ to MECQ from August 1 to August 15, 2021.
Meanwhile, the IATF approved the shortening of detection to isolation/quarantine interval to less than five (5) days. These include the conduct of active case finding in all areas, prioritizing those with clustering; the tracing of close contacts of suspect, probable, and confirmed cases within 24 hours of detection of a case; the immediate isolation /quarantine and testing of cases and close contacts; the use of rapid antigen tests for confirmation of suspect/probable case and close contacts; RT-PCR testing to those who turned negative on rapid antigen testing; identification of areas with case increases or clustering by the local government units (LGUs) and regional epidemiological surveillance units and their immediate submission of samples for sequencing; ensuring that workplaces and establishments conduct daily health and exposure screening, report identified case and close contacts to the LGU, and coordinate for investigation and response; and considering incentives in workplaces to encourage reporting and adherence to isolation/quarantine.
Also approved by the IATF is the implementation of giving priority to facility-based isolation and quarantine to prevent household transmission; making readily available and accessible health care capacities and systems in preparation for case spikes; ramping up of vaccination among Priority Groups A2 and A3 populations with parallel efforts of vaccinating the A4 population, if resources are adequate; strict enforecement of border control protocols at all ports of entry; continuous assessment of the COVID-19 situation at all levels; and the dissemination of information on the variants of concern and expected actions to be undertaken by individuals, establishments and implementers. ###