The public must continue to be vigilant and comply with minimum health protocols amid the emergence of new coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) variants, an official of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said on Thursday.
“We had a meeting yesterday with our resident epidemiologist, including the DOH (Department of Health), and again even with the new variant (of the Covid-19) our health officials were emphasizing the need for us to practice minimum public health protocols,” Interior Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel.
Densing added that local government units (LGUs) have been ordered to impose sanctions on people who ignore quarantine protocols despite the easing of travel rules across the country.
“This is one real reason to prevent and contain the spread of Covid-19 regardless of the variant and because of that, we at the DILG will be issuing hopefully by today (Thursday) our reiteration memorandum which we already issued in the previous year directing our LGUs to penalize people who are moving out or going out of their residences without practicing minimum public health protocols,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said travelers will no longer be required to secure authority from police offices in compliance with the national government’s move to harmonize travel rules across the country.
“Insofar as the PNP locality is concerned, we just have to advise them not to impose restrictions anymore. Travelers would only have to comply with whatever is required by their destination LGU. There is no need for the local police to enforce more restrictions,” PNP spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Ildebrandi Usana said in a phone interview.
Despite easing of restrictions, some local governments units still require a negative RT-PCR test result for travelers before they can be allowed entry.
PNP wants more Covid-19 vaccines
With the expected arrival of more Covid-19 vaccines in the country, the PNP said it looking to request additional allocations for its medical front-liners.
“Actually, we are requesting any particular brand kung ano pa ang dadating yun po ang tatanggapin ng kapulisan (whatever will arrive, the police force will gratefully accept it),” he added.
Usana is also hopeful that the PNP will get new allocation once the Covid-19 vaccines start arriving en masse this month.
The PNP got 800 doses out of the 600,000 doses of Sinovac Biotech’s CoronaVac vaccines that arrived in the country on February 28.
Meanwhile, over 487,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines are expected to arrive in the country on Thursday night.
As of Wednesday, over 200 PNP front-liners have already been inoculated following the rollout of the government’s vaccination drive for front-liners on March 1. (PNA)