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Editorial | Restrictions may ease but vigilance stays

Even if COVID-19 cases are still reported, the city is moving towards modified community quarantine on April 27, Monday. Mayor Sara Duterte said during a radio interview last Thursday that the decision was upon the advice of epidemiologists and infectious disease specialists of the Department of Health. The guidelines for this new measure has not been divulged to the media but definitely things are expected to ease a bit once this MCQ is implemented.

What is clear under MCQ is that mass transportation will be partially introduced on a graduated scale. This partial mobility will support essential businesses that will also resume work following restrictions like a shortened work hours and skeletal workforce. Social distancing, as before, will be implemented on PUJs and buses to safeguard commuters. Face masks will continue to be mandatory as well as the clustering of districts and the use of food and medicine passes.

Those who will return to work should ensure that they are practicing all hygiene protocols because there are still new cases reported and health officials are still conducting contact tracing to those who were found to be positive. As of Thursday, Cluster 1 (Poblacion A and B and Talomo District) has 45 individuals who tested positive; Cluster 3 (Buhangin District) has 23; Cluster 2 (Agdao District) has 6 cases; Cluster 4 (Toril District) has five; Cluster 5 (Calinan, Baguio, Marilog, Tugbok and some barangays of Paquibato) has 4 cases; and Cluster 6 (Bunawan, some barangays of Paquibato, including Island Garden City of Samal) has three cases.

One of the concerns that has surfaced at this time is the resumption of classes. The Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education has announced temporary department orders for classes to resume, but we expect academic institutions to modify their plans according to what they deem fit, such as migrating to online classes, at least in the next semester or as the situation allows.

Be that as it may, we should remain vigilant in keeping ourselves healthy at this time of COVID-19.

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