Local authorities urged to implement stricter health protocols

People walk in the afternoon heat in Quezon City on March 23, 2022. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA – The Department of Home Affairs and Local Government (DILG) has ordered law enforcement authorities to implement stricter monitoring of public health standards nationwide, after registering a huge spike in breaches over the past week.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año told President Rodrigo Duterte during his address to the nation broadcast Wednesday morning that his agency had recorded a more than one hundred percent increase in violations of the COVID-19 health protocol between 15 and April 24.

Año shared the following data from April 10-16, compared to last week:

  • Not wearing face masks: from 28,622 to 84,969 (a 196% increase)
  • Mass gatherings: 13 to 724 (a 5,469% increase)
  • No physical distancing: from 3,002 to 9,057 (201% increase)

“So muli po tayong magi-istrikto, ang ating kapulisan, respecting minimum public health standards,” the interior chief said.

“Tinatawagan din natin les LGUs, lalo na po barangay officials at barangay tanod, management of commercial establishments, community leaders, campaign organizers who … meet minimum public health standards,” he added.

Año said no region of the country was under granular lockdown.

The Department of Health (DOH) earlier warned that Metro Manila could see up to 446,000 COVID-19 cases by mid-May if people violate health protocols, given the increase in election-related activities.

The health agency reported the country’s first case of the potentially more transmissible omicron subvariant BA.2.12 of COVID-19, which is wreaking havoc in some US states, on Wednesday afternoon.

The patient, a Finnish woman, had already recovered and returned to her home country.

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