The Philippine Pediatric Society says it is not yet time for the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to allow children 10 years of age and older to leave their homes in areas under the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).
Three of the 16 who tested positive with the United Kingdom COVID-19 variant in the country were minors.
“Ang sintomas sa mga bata, hindi mo alam. May na-admit ako na 2 pasyente na may LBM at rashes. Akala mo dengue, it turned out to be COVID pala,” said Cynthia Cuayo-Juico of Philippine Pediatric Society.
A doctor advised parents to check first if they really needed to go out with the children.
“‘Pag pinayagan natin ang ages 10 to 65, mas dadami ang lalabas. Ang daming ito, might be a factor in the containment or spread,” said Dr. Anna Ong-Lim.
The Department of Health had earlier said it would study whether it would recommend to the IATF not to enforce the looser age restriction.
The Metro Manila Council (MMC) will consult with medical experts on the proposal.
The next meeting of the IATF is scheduled for Tuesday.
Eased age restrictions in MGCQ areas opposed
“Alam naman nating superspreader itong mga bata. Sila po ay asymptomatic at makakahawa pag-uwi sa kanilang mga bahay,” said MMC Chairman Edwin Olivarez, mayor of Parañaque City.
If the number of COVID-19 cases continues to increase in the country, COVID-19 may also have a Philippine variant, according to Dr. Cynthia Saloma, director of the Philippine Genome Center.
“May possibility na magkaroon din ng Philippine variant pero ang possibility na ‘yan, mangyayari lang if the cases are many, kasi ang virus, kailangan niya ng host para siya mag-mutate,” said Saloma.
It was August last year when the dominant variant of the D614G virus was first detected in the country.
Experts warn of strict adherence to health standards to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“Kung magre-relax tayo at dumami ang kaso, ‘yong chance niya na mag-mutate ay tataas,” said Dr. Marissa Alejandria ng COVID-19 technical advisory group.
“We need to take action. Avoid crowds, avoid enclosed venues, improve ventilation, [and] avoid places where a lot of people are talking without masks,” said epidemiologist Dr. John Wong.