MANILA, Philippines — As Filipinos prepare to celebrate Christmas, the government is closely monitoring COVID-19 "high-risk" areas to prevent the spread of the virus and to ensure that health protocols are observed.
During a recent meeting of the government's pandemic task force, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III reported that most of the additional COVID-19 cases as of December 21 came from Metro Manila, CALABARZON and the Davao region.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana also cited five areas that are being monitored for the implementation of precautionary measures.
"The military…is helping in the implementation of health protocols. Aside from the high-risk (areas) mentioned by Secretary Duque, we are continuously monitoring these areas: Iloilo City, Iligan, Tacloban City, Lana del Sur and South Cotabato," the defense chief said.
"We hope they will be more cautious this Christmas," he added.
The Philippines has recorded more than 462,000 COVID-19 infections with about 9,000 deaths. Officials have reported a slowdown in the decrease of COVID-19 cases as more people go to shopping areas and churches during the holiday season. The health department has assured the public that it has contingency measures for a possible post-holiday surge of infections.
Duque urged local governments to provide more protection to senior citizens, one of the sectors most vulnerable to the virus.
"We would like to call the attention of LGUs (local government units). Double the precautionary measures for grandfathers and grandmothers this Christmas," he said.
The health chief also reminded testing laboratories that they should remain fully operational even during the holidays.
Other regions and provinces in the Philippines considered moderate and low-risk areas will be placed under general community quarantine starting May 1. Bookmark this page for updates. (Main image by The STAR/Edd Gumban)
Total COVID-19 cases in the Philippines reaches 464,004 with 1,196 new reported cases Wednesday.
The Department of Health also records 564 additional recoveries, pushing the total of recovered patients to 429,972. The country's death toll climbs to 9,048 with 27 new deaths.
Of the total cases in the country, 24,948 are considered active cases.
The Philippines records an additional 1,314 COVID-19 cases, bringing the national tally to 462,815.
The Department of Health also reports 247 new recoveries and 66 additional deaths, pushing the total of recovered patients to 429,419 and the death toll to 9,021.
Of the total cases in the country, 24,375 are active cases.
The Department of Health records 1,721 new COVID-19 cases, pushing the national caseload to 461,505.
Of the total of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines, 5.1% or 23,341 of which are considered active cases.
The national death toll is now at 8,957 with 10 additional deaths, while total recoveries stand at 429,207 with 82 newly reported recovered patients.
The Department of Health reports 1,754 additional COVID-19 cases, bringing the total cases in the country to 459,789.
The DOH also logs 8,080 mass recoveries, pushing the total of recovered patients to 429,134. The country's death toll reaches 8,947 with 36 new reported deaths.
With the latest figures, the total of active cases in the Philippines is now 21,708.
The Inter-agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease has approved putting Isabela province under General Community Quarantine, BusinessWorld's Gillian Cortez reports quoting the Palace.
Palace Spokesperson Harry Roque said the IATF-EID approved the imposition of a General Community Quarantine until Dec. 31 in Isabela. Isabela was formerly under an MGCQ. Santiago City in Isabela will be exempted from the GCQ. @bworldph
— Gillian Cortez (@gmcortez_) December 15, 2020
Isabela will be under GCQ from the less stringent Modified General Community Quarantine until December 31. Santiago City will remain under MGCQ.
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