DOH to public: Go only on essential trips despite eased quarantine restrictions

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Commuters take a UV Express van plying the Antipolo-Ayala route at a terminal in Antipolo City, Rizal on June 29, 2020, amid the general community quarantine. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA – The Department of Health (DOH) reminded the public on Wednesday to still limit trips to essential ones even after the government further eased community quarantine protocols across the country.

Filipinos should still observe minimum health standards even if they are in areas placed under the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ), the lowest quarantine level, since virus restrictions remain in place, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said.

"Kailangan maintindihan ng lahat ng tao kahit anong level ng community quarantine ang mayroon po tayo sa bawat area natin may mga basic na prinsipyo at mga basic na dapat ipinatutupad," she said in a virtual press briefing.

(The public needs to understand that there are basic principles that we have to observe regardless of the level of community quarantine.)

"Kung wala kang gagawin na essential outside of your home, huwag kang lumabas dahil you are still in community quarantine kahit sabihin natin na low-risk MGCQ 'yan," she added.

(If you're not doing anything essential outside of your home, don't go out because you are still in community quarantine even if it's a low-risk MGCQ.)

"Kailangan pa rin nating gawin ang minimum health standards, isuot ang mask 'pag lalabas ng bahay, mag-physical distancing, laging maghugas ng kamay," she added.

(We still have to observe minimum health standards like wear your masks when going out, observe physical distancing, and wash your hands.)

Several areas on Wednesday transitioned to MGCQ, the last step in the government's community quarantine system before the full easing of restrictions, with many provinces classified as "low-risk."

Nearly all sectors are allowed to operate in MGCQ areas, including tourism.

Vergeire said areas classified as "low-risk" are those that are preparing for the "new normal" where minimum health standards are established in all sectors.

"Kapag sinabi po natin na low-risk na MGCQ, ito po ay mas mababa doon sa talagang MGCQ. We are now transitioning into this new normal kung saan lahat po ng minimum health standards na dapat ipatupad sa bawat setting, mayroon tayo," she said.

(Low-risk MGCQ areas are those lower than MGCQ. This means that we are transitioning to the new normal where minimum health standards are observed in all settings.)

As of June 30, the Philippines has confirmed 37,514 COVID-19 cases. This includes 1,266 deaths and 10, 233 recoveries.

At present, the country has 25,227 active cases, of which nearly 96 percent are exhibiting mild symptoms. There are, meanwhile, 942 patients who are asymptomatic, 122 in severe condition, and 26 critical.

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