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Zero infection areas may move to ‘new normal’ by next month

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Some areas may graduate to the "new normal" by October, the Palace said Monday.

“There will be areas with zero transmission [of COVID-19] in the past month that may be declared under the regime of new normal,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said at a Palace briefing Monday.

He said this would mean a new classification aside from the modified general community quarantine.

Roque’s statement came as the country marked the 14th straight day in which new infections surpassed 3,000 a day.

The country logged 3,475 new cases of COVID-19 Monday, bringing the total number of infections to 290,190 since the pandemic began.

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The Department of Health reported 400 recoveries, bringing to 230,233 cases in which patients have recovered from the disease.

The department also reported 15 new deaths, bringing the total death toll from COVID-19 to 4,999.

That leaves 54,958 active cases in which patients are being treated or under quarantine.

BuCor chief tests positive for COVID-19

Bureau of Corrections chief Director General Gerald Bantag on Monday confirmed that he tested positive for coronavirus.

This came after BuCor spokesman Gabriel Chaglag disclosed that he was also tested positive of COVID-19 virus following a swab test conducted Tuesday.

Earlier, two personnel of the BuCor director general also contracted the virus, prompting the latter to undergo a swab test.

Bantagsaid he experienced symptoms of the disease for two nights such as chills and high temperature. 

Doctors face sanctions

A group of doctors, including a former secretary of the Department of Health (DOH), may possibly face sanctio––ns after they held an event that violated quarantine guidelines, the Health Department said on Monday.

“In that event, we saw certain violations of our guidelines.,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said.

Vergeire’s statement was in reaction to the “Flatten the Fear” event organized by Concerned Doctors and Citizens of the Philippines, which she said violated any quarantine rules.

“We are not allowing any mass gatherings based on the guidelines of our Inter-Agency Task Force,” she said.

Vergeire said they also saw the video showing that many of those who attended did not wear face masks.

Tondo demolition put on hold

Demolition of Vitas-Katuparan B in Tondo, Manila, has been suspended while the country is still under a state of public health emergency.

National Housing Authority General Manager Marcelino Escalada Jr. offered this assurance Monday.

“No demolition until the general community quarantine is lifted. NHA also offers Naic housing site to those who are willing to evacuate,” he said.

Residents of the Vitas-Katuparan housing project earlier held a protest action against the looming demolition of their homes located along R-10 Road in Tondo.

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