Following the rise in cases of the UK variant of COVID-19 in the country, the Department of Health (DOH) said it may recommend the deferment of the rule that will allow children as young as 10 years old to leave their homes in areas under Modified General Community Quarantine (MCGQ) starting next month.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said this in a Laging Handa briefing on Saturday, January 23, when asked about the new government rule after 16 more cases of the more contagious COVID-19 variant were detected in the country. Three of these cases are below 18 years old.
“Pero sa ngayon na lumalabas na itong variant ay nandito, nakaapekto rin sa 3 kabataan dito sa mga kaso sa ngayon, so aming iniisip na baka sakali, makapagrekomenda tayo na maari muna nating hindi ipapatupad itong paglalabas sa mga bata so that we can prevent more infections,” Vergeire said.
(Now that we have cases of the new variant here, which also affected 3 youth, we’re thinking that we may recommend not to implement the policy to allow children to go out so we can prevent more infections.)
She said this may be discussed in the next meeting of the government coronavirus task force. Under the new policy, which will take effect on February 1, persons aged 10 to 65 years old can leave their homes in areas under MGCQ.
“But nevertheless tayo ay makikinig sa kung ano mang desisyon ng IATF na ibibigay sa atin (we will listen to whatever decision to IATF gives),” she added.
Vergeire recognized that the policy is anchored on striking a balance between ensuring public health and helping the economy, which was why the DOH agreed to it then, for as long as minimum health standards are observed.
She said that if the implementation of the new rule begins as scheduled next month, parents and adults should see to it that children observe health protocols and that they avoid crowded places where there is a higher chance of COVID-19 infection. – Rappler.com