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DTI chief sees ‘perfect balance’ in current quarantine rules

October 20, 2020 - Tuesday 3:10 PM by PNA

Article Banner Image Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez

MANILA – Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez considers the current community quarantine measures as a “perfect balance” in managing the health crisis and reopening of the economy.

During the Laging Handa public briefing Monday, 95 percent of sectors are allowed to operate as the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has reclassified some business establishments and activities from Category IV to Category III, which means these sectors are allowed to open even in general community quarantine (GCQ) areas.

Last week, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) issued a memorandum circular (MC) recategorizing travel agencies, tour operators, reservation services, and other related activities from Category IV to Category III.

Lopez said the DTI will issue another MC within the week encouraging companies to apply staggered shifts to spread the number of commuters in public transportation to different hours.

The trade chief said despite the reopening of economic activities, health protocols to minimize the risk of contracting coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) were not relaxed.

“This is good management that the country is doing because we don’t need to wait for the modified GCQ (MGCQ) in a way that we are gradually reopening the economy. We can reopen some sectors even under GCQ,” he said in Filipino.

Lopez said the community quarantine measures have helped the government to manage the Covid-19 situation in the country as there are improvements in health statistics like the declining utilization rate of critical care units, slowing reproduction number of the virus, and low fatality rate.

“I think this is a perfect balance as we are learning to manage the virus because the virus is still here with us,” he added. Kris Crismundo