Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque Jr presented on Monday, September 28, the new indicators that were used as basis for determining the next round of community quarantine classifications.
“As far as critical care capacity is concerned, we are on moderate risk. As far as case doubling rate is concerned, malayo pa ang tatahakin. Pero nagbago na po ang basis ng classification natin ngayon,” said Secretary Roque.
The Palace official and concurrent spokesperson of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) said that new community quarantine classifications will now be based on two-week growth rate and daily attack rate.
Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, who was a resource person in Sec Roque’s press briefing, said that experts who make up the IATF sub-Technical Working Group on Data Analytics decided to update the basis for deciding on community quarantine classifications, from using case doubling time and mortality doubling time to using the two-week growth rate and daily attack rate.
The DOH Spokesperson explained that the two-week growth rate refers to the growth in the number of cases for the past two weeks, while daily attack rate is the number of cases over a certain period of time over a certain number of population. Usec. Vergeire said that these two new indicators are more sensitive because it shows the true picture of the community and that the daily attack rate indicates the increase or decrease in cases in areas that are being monitored.
Vergeire added that case doubling time and mortality doubling time would still be used as an overall guide or indicator that can be used in the analysis of the overall trends of the country.
On another matter, Sec. Roque underscored the decision of the IATF to allow, starting on October 1, the reopening of Boracay to tourists coming from areas under the general community quarantine, apart from travelers from the Western Visayas as previously allowed.
Travelers going to Boracay will have to comply with the test-before-travel requirement which means that travelers will be allowed entry to the island only after showing negative RT-PCR test result taken not more than 48 hours prior to the day of travel. Travelers are advised to follow strict quarantine measures prior to travel to Boracay.
IATF Resolution No. 74 also relaxed age restrictions for travel to Boracay, however, persons with co-morbidities will still be restricted from entering the island. Airlines are likewise advised that the Godofredo P. Ramos Airport in Caticlan is the only port of entry for persons travelling by air. A central point for screening tourists travelling by land, air, or sea will also be established in the island of Boracay.
An additional condition for the reopening of Boracay to tourists is that minimum health and safety guidelines and emergency response protocols must be in place, and that a COVID-19 laboratory in the locality must be operational.
However, the reopening of Boracay and other tourist spots in the country does not mean that we are already out of danger from COVID-19, said Sec Roque. “It means that, kinakailangan balansehin talaga natin yuong katotohanan na kinakailangan magtrabaho na yung nagtatrabaho sa sektor ng turismo na pupwede namang mangyari kung pangangalagaan natin ang ating kalusugan,” Roque said.
In the same press briefing, Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) Commissioner Greco Belgica reported that some 9,356 concerns and complaints have been acted upon by the commission from October 2019 to September 2020. Commissioner Belgica also mentioned that the PACC still has ongoing investigations on PhilHealth, particularly on the issue of overpriced COVID-19 testing packages, overpriced IT projects, and the common stock investment scam. ### OPS-PCOO