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MALACAÑANG SAYS: Dec. 23 to Jan. 3 lockdown fake news

Malacañang yesterday tagged as “fake news” the rumors that the government would impose a nationwide lockdown from Dec. 23, 2020 to Jan. 3, 2021.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque denied that there have been any changes to the quarantine classifications announced by President Rodrigo Duterte on Nov. 30.

Duterte earlier announced that Metro Manila, the provinces of Batangas and Lanao del Sur, Davao del Norte, and the cities of Iloilo, Tacloban, Iligan, and Davao will remain under general community quarantine (GCQ) until Dec. 31.

The rest of the country will be under the least stringent modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles urged the public to be responsible in sharing information online.

“Alamin ang totoo. Huwag maniwala at huwag po magkalat ng fake news lalo na ngayong panahon. Patuloy lang po tayo maging responsable sa sarili at sa pamilya (Know the truth. Don’t believe and don’t spread fake news especially during this time. Let’s continue being responsible for ourselves and our family),” he said.

National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 spokesperson retired Gen. Restituto Padilla Jr., in a separate statement, advised the public to verify sources before believing in them.

“Everyone is strongly advised not to believe news or information coming from unverified sources. Please ensure you verify or ask authorities or trusted organizations about the veracity of such information before believing and passing it around. Let us not be instruments of fake news distribution and help our fellow kababayans (citizens),” he said.

The Department of Health has repeatedly advised the public to observe minimum public health standards during the holidays.

Currently, hosting and attending large in-person gatherings and even traveling is not advised amid the prevailing pandemic.

DOH spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire has urged the public to consider modifying their Christmas activities or resorting to virtual activities to mitigate the spread of the virus, particularly in enclosed spaces and with an exceeding number of attendees from the recommended limit.

She recommended getting together exclusively with household members and virtual gathering with those not residing in the same house as most infections are made through close contact and prolonged exposure.

The DOH also reported yesterday that 92.9 percent of those who tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 have recovered.

In its latest bulletin, the DOH said the country logged 9,062 new recoveries, pushing the total number of recovered cases to 408,634.

It also reported 1,768 new confirmed cases and 29 new deaths.

These figures brought the overall tally of active cases to 22,646 and the death toll to 8,554.

Of the active cases, the DOH said about 84.2 percent are mild, 6.2 percent are asymptomatic, 3.1 percent are severe, 0.34 percent are moderate, and 6.1 percent are in critical condition.

Quezon City topped the list of places that logged the most number of new cases with 112 infections.

It was followed by Laguna with 94, Rizal with 90, Davao City with 71, and Benguet with 69.

“Three duplicates were removed from the total case count, of these, one was a death case. Moreover, 10 cases previously tagged as recovered were reclassified as deaths,” DOH said.

A DOH data on Dec. 5 showed that 1,100 or 4.6 percent of 23,871 who were tested turned out positive for Covid-19.

The DOH also said it has 21,300-bed capacity dedicated to patients with Covid-19.

Available are 59 percent of 1,900 intensive care unit beds, 62 percent of 13,500 isolation beds, and 72 percent of 5,900 ward beds. About 81 percent of 2,000 ventilators are available for Covid-19 patients’ use.*PNA

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