Malacañang on Friday said the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases had approved the proposed second phase of the country’s action plan crafted by the National Task Force (NTF) on Covid-19.

IATF Resolution No. 51 approved eight key features of the action plan. The government aims to promote “change in people’s mindset with strong focus on health and disease prevention” and “strategically balance health and economic objectives,” the Palace said.

“Bagama’t importante na protektahan pa rin natin ang ating mga sarili laban sa Covid-19, napatunayan naman po natin na mayroon ng mga pamamaraan para labanan ang Covid-19 kasama na po diyan ang pagsusuot ng face masks, ang social distancing at ang paghuhugas ng kamay,” Palace spokesman Harry Roque said in a Laging Handa briefing.

“Sasamahan din po natin iyan ng granular lockdowns at saka siyempre po, kasama na rin diyan iyong paiigtingin pa natin iyong testing, tracing, isolation and treatment,” he added.

The government will also concentrate on expanded and targeted testing and contact-tracing even as it gradually allows travel, tourism and non-disruption of work, Roque said.

During the briefing, Roque announced the easing of restrictions on religious gatherings and operations of travel agencies, allowing up to 10 percent of religious venue capacities to be occupied and the skeletal workforces of travel agencies to operate in areas under general community quarantine.

The plan will also institutionalize the “Prevent-Detect-Isolate-Treat-Reintegrate Strategy” and “Zoning Containment Strategy,” to be supervised by Cabinet officers for regional development and security, the Palace said.

It will address private and public partnerships; enhance risk communication and community engagements on observance of heath controls; and highlight contingency, business continuity and sustainability plans, the Palace said.

Covid-19 cases in the country have reached 40,336 as of July 3. John Ezekiel J. Hirro