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A TOP Palace official declared that the various community quarantine levels the government has imposed in the country will not be lifted, at least not this year.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press briefing that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has decided not to lift the community quarantine in place in various forms across the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sa tingin ko po, malabo pa po iyan,” said Roque, when asked whether the government is considering the idea of lifting community quarantines to allow the economy to fully recover.

Roque’s statement was made shortly after the Department of Health (DOH) expressed its position which described the lifting of community quarantine across the country as a “long-term goal.”

That’s not going to happen now or next month,” said DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire in a separate press briefing.

We’re discussing it because we want to have safeguards in place so that we can avoid the risk of having further transmission.”

Interestingly, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said in an earlier televised interview that community quarantine can be lifted once at least 50 million Filipinos have been vaccinated.

That is why the range is at 50 million to 70 million,” Nograles said.

Oddly though, the government has only been able to inoculate eight million people against COVID-19. Of this number only two million Filipinos have been able to complete the required number of doses.

The government is eyeing to vaccinate 58 million people or 70 percent of the population to achieve “herd immunity.” 

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