Marcos meets with DOH, DILG to evaluate Covid-19 situation

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MANILA – President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. met with Department of Health (DOH) and Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) officials on Thursday to assess the current coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) situation in the country.

Following the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to allow the optional wearing of face masks outdoors, Marcos convened the meeting at Malacañan Palace in Manila.

“Today, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. met with key officials from the Department of Health (Philippines) and the DILG Philippines to assess the country’s Covid-19 situation in light of the IATF’s recommendation to make face masks optional outdoors,” the Office of the President (OP) said in a Facebook post.

However, the OP did not mention any decision made by Marcos with regard to the recommendation of IATF-EID.

Marcos views the steady decline of Covid-19 infections as a positive development, amid his administration’s efforts to expand the nationwide vaccine drive.

“President Marcos welcomed the DOH report which noted a steady decline in Covid-19 cases. The DOH attributes the low positivity rate of 12 percent to the success of the government’s intensified national vaccine rollout,” the OP said.

DILG Secretary Benhur Abalos Jr. first proposed to make the usage of face masks optional.

Citing data from different Southeast Asian nations, Abalos said there was barely a difference between number of Covid-19 cases in areas where wearing of face masks was mandatory and where they were partially or completely lifted so long as minimum public health standards are strictly observed.

DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire supported the proposed optional wearing of face masks, but urged the public especially the vulnerable persons to continue wearing one.

Before the IATF-EID’s recommendation becomes a policy, Marcos’ approval is required.

Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles reminded the public that if Marcos rejects the proposal to make the use of face masks voluntary, the use of face masks remains mandatory.

The country logged an additional 2,404 Covid-19 cases, increasing the number of active cases to 24,032 as of Thursday.

Based on the DOH’s Covid-19 tracker uploaded on its official website, the country’s total case load has now reached 3,898,882. 

House committees to hold hearings during break

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Spread the loveMANILA – The House of Representatives has authorized for its committees to conduct hearings during the five-week congressional break, extending until late April.