Authorities are still waiting for the approved final guidelines on the implementation of granular lockdowns, causing the postponement of its pilot run in the National Capital Region (NCR), retired Gen. Restituto Padilla Jr., spokesperson of the National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19, said Wednesday.
“We had a meeting yesterday attended by Metro Manila mayors and there are still many questions that were not part of set guidelines that have to be expanded,” Padilla said at the Laging Handa press briefing in Filipino.
Padilla said there are still many clarifications that have been raised related to the implementation of the general community quarantine (GCQ) with Alert Levels System also known as localized or granular lockdowns.
“So the rollout of the pilot quarantine will be slightly delayed until the guidelines, that we are referring to, have been prepared and disseminated. So let’s wait for that to be clearer,” he said.
Some healthcare workers also requested to slightly defer the push of granular lockdowns, he added.
“There were calls to delay it for two weeks, but the major reason, is the expansion of the guidelines addressing all the queries raised by the Metro Manila mayors and those other parties who also sought for clarifications,” he said.
The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) on Tuesday announced the pilot granular lockdowns in NCR will be deferred until further notice.
With this, the NCR will remain under stricter modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) classifications until Sept. 15 amid the prevailing threat of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Maintaining the MECQ status in Metro Manila may affect the current economic condition of the region, however, Padilla noted that business establishments were allowed to operate with strict compliance to the health protocols.
Padilla lamented the decision to postpone the lowering of the quarantine classification in NCR into less restrictive status was based on the region’s Covid-19 cases at critical risk and the hospitalization rate mostly in full capacity.
“The time allotted to prepare the finalization of guidelines for granular lockdown might help in the reduction of cases,” he said in Filipino.
The government is also studying the expansion for risk classification listings of countries.
“We had extended our green, yellow and red lists of countries with high cases of Covid-19 infection,” Padilla said.
Travel restrictions on passengers coming from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia have already been lifted.