Minors aged 17 and below are mandated to stay at home starting Friday, July 22 after a previous policy allowing them outdoors has been retracted amid the threat of the Delta COVID-19 variant.
“Ang latest natin diyan ay hindi muna natin papayagan sa ngayon para lang makasiguro tayo,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III told ABS-CBN News’ Teleradyo.
“Dahil nagkaroon na tayo ng Delta variant ay nagkaisa ang IATF na iatras muna itong resolution na ito,” he added.
The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease issued a resolution last July 9 allowing children as young as 5 years old to go outdoors in select areas under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) and general community quarantine (GCQ).
The latest IATF decision to withdraw the policy came a day after the Department of Health confirmed the local transmission of the more virulent Delta variant of COVID-19 in the Philippines.
Meanwhile, local government units still have the discretion on what age group will be banned from going outdoors depending on the COVID-19 situation in their locality.
Duque, however, also said children may once again be allowed to go outside if there would not be spike in the number of cases despite the presence of Delta variant.
Nationwide, there are 47 total reported cases of the more infectious COVID-19 strain so far, of whom 36 have already recovered, 3 died, while 8 remain active.
In Cavite, two cases of Delta variant — first local cases confirmed in the province — were detected last Thursday, July 22. They have already recovered from the disease according to health authorities.
The Delta variant, also known as B.1.617.2, was first identified in India. It was tagged behind the ballooning infections in Indonesia, the new epicenter of the pandemic in Asia.
Thumbnail photo from Unsplash by Larm Rmah