After a very short “freedom” for children five years and above, the Manila city government is encouraging parents to once again keep their children at home due to the threat caused by the Delta variant of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
“Pinagbotohan na namin sa Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) meeting of metro mayors. Ang boto namin, pansamantala muna naming ititigil saglit (We have voted at the MMDA meeting of metro mayors. We voted to temporarily halt this) in reference to the possible existence of Delta variants in the country,” Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso said in his Facebook live update on Tuesday evening.
The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) earlier eased the Covid-19 community restrictions and decided to allow children aged five years and above to spend time outdoors.
Local government units were even encouraged to designate child-friendly Covid-19 safe zones for minors.
However, this was before the confirmation of the presence of the Covid-19 Delta variant in the country.
Domagoso said the vote of the Metro Manila mayors would be submitted to the IATF-EID.
He said they have not yet received any formal communication from the Department of Health (DOH), informing them of a new active Delta variant-positive patient in the city.
Among the 36 traced as close contacts of the two earlier Delta variant-positive patients in the city, only one turned out positive for Covid-19, he said.
However, the sample content was above 20 of the cycle threshold (CT) value, thus, the city government was not required to submit them for genome sequencing.
Thus, Domagoso said, it could be a regular Covid-19 case.
One of the two patients who earlier tested positive for the Delta variant died while the other has recovered.
With the threat of the Delta variant, Manila residents are encouraged to strictly follow the minimum public health and safety protocols, such as the wearing of face masks and face shields, frequent washing or disinfection of the hands, and the observance of safe physical distancing, even for those who have been vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Domagoso said it is better to be safe than be caught by surprise by the new variant.
“For the meantime, mga nanay at tatay, medyo kalawitin nyo muna yung mga anak ninyo at mapagsabihan ninyong as much as possible, stay at home. Para rin naman sa inyo yan (parents, please tell your children to, as much as possible, stay at home. This is for you anyway),” he said. (PNA)