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IATF oks reopening of more businesses amid pandemic

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has allowed more businesses nationwide to resume operations amid the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, Malacañang said yesterday.

In a press statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the IATF-EID has approved the reopening of driving schools, traditional cinemas, and video and interactive-game arcades in the country.

Roque said libraries, archives, museums, and cultural centers have also been authorized to operate amid the pandemic.

Also approved is the reopening of limited tourist attractions like parks, theme parks, natural sites, and historical landmarks, he said.

The IATF-EID, he said, has also agreed to allow the conduct of meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions, and limited social events at credited establishments of the Department of Tourism.

He said “strict” observance of minimum public health standards set by the Department of Health should be observed by businesses that could resume activities amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The reopening and further expansion shall be subject to the issuance of the implementing guidelines which will provide for the operational capacity, and oversight of the appropriate regulatory agency and the concerned local government units where these businesses/industries are located,” he said.

The IATF-EID’s latest decision came after President Rodrigo Duterte expressed concern over the current state of the Philippine economy.

The country’s economic team is calling for the further relaxation of quarantine rules in the country to revive the economy.

During the Laging Handa briefing, Roque said the IATF has decided to give more sectors the chance to operate the pandemic since there is no increase in the Covid-19 attack rate and utilization rate.

“And of course, it is in accordance with the reality that we need to reopen the economy to generate more jobs for our fellow Filipinos,” Roque said.

Duterte on Monday vowed to take necessary steps to ensure that the Philippine economy remains afloat.

NEW RECOVERIES

The DOH reported 333 new recoveries from Covid yesterday, bringing its tally to 500,654 or 91.8 percent of the country’s total number of infections.

In its daily Covid-19 bulletin, the number of active cases rose to 33,151 with the reported 2,022 new infections. The number of active cases is 6.1 percent of all 545,300 Covid-19 patients.

Of the active cases, the majority at 86.9 percent are showing mild symptoms, followed by the asymptomatic at 7.8 percent, those in critical condition at 2.4 percent, with severe infections at 2.3 percent, and with moderate symptoms at 0.63 percent.

Based on the data that the department received on Thursday, 1,404 out of the 27,657 Covid-19 tests administered, or 5.1 percent, returned positive with Covid-19.

With the reported 26 new deaths, the country’s total Covid-19 fatalities rose to 11,495 or 2.11 percent of all infections. Meanwhile, many medical facilities remain available for those infected, with 61 percent of the country’s 1,900 beds at intensive care units still available, 66 percent of 13,500 isolation beds unoccupied, 78 percent of 6,000 ward beds unoccupied, and 79 percent of 2,000 ventilators not in use.*PNA

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