LGUs, establishments to assess COVID-19 risks, impose restrictions – DOH

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 16) — The Department of Health (DOH) said on Tuesday that local government units (LGUs), establishments, and schools should be able to assess their current COVID-19 situation and risks, and impose restrictions if necessary.

Health Officer-in-Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire noted that these LGUs, establishments, and schools may also lift restrictions based on their assessment. This came after the announcements of the Baguio City LGU mandating the wearing of masks in indoor spaces, and the City of Manila requiring its employees to wear masks.

"Itong mga restrictions na ini-impose nila, hangga't ito ay rational at aligned naman sa ating pagpapatupad ng ating protocols, ito ay susuportahan ng Kagawaran ng Kalusugan," she said.

[Translation: The Department of Health will support these restrictions as long as these are rational and aligned with the protocols being implemented.]

When asked if there is a need for the national government to impose additional COVID-19 restrictions with the increasing number of new COVID-19 cases, Vergeire pointed out that they see no reason for it at the moment.

"Hindi po namin nakikita sa ngayon, sa sitwasyon natin ngayon na ang Kagawaran ng Kalusugan ay magrerekomeda sa ating presidente or through IATF ng mas mataas o iaayos na naman o ipapatupad na naman na mga restriction katulad ng mandato sa mask," Vergeire added.

[Translation: For now, we do not see a reason to recommend to the president, or through the IATF, any stronger restrictions like the mask mandate.]

However, she said that if case classification shifts to mostly severe and critical cases and hospital admission rises, they may then recommend bringing back some COVID-19 restrictions.