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MANILA, Jan 7 (Mabuhay) —

The Inter-Agency Task Force on Friday approved a shortened isolation and quarantine periods for fully vaccinated health workers infected with or exposed to COVID-19, Malacañang said Friday.

Acting presidential spokesperson Karlo Nograles made the announcement a day after hospitals raised concerns on being short staffed amid rising number of COVID-19 cases.

“Hospital infection prevention and control committees are authorized to implement shortened quarantine protocols of five days for their fully vaccinated healthcare workers consistent with health care capacity needs and individualized risk assessment,” part of IATF Resolution 156 reads.

Likewise, the IATF Resolution states that Hospital infection prevention and control committees can also implement shortened isolation protocols for COVID-19 for fully vaccinated healthcare workers “in extreme circumstances and upon weighing risks and benefits.”

Health Undersecretary Rosario Vergeire said that those fully vaccinated healthcare workers infected with COVID-19 who are asymptomatic and a mild and/or moderate case should be isolated for at least five days as against 10-day isolation period for fully vaccinated general population infected with COVID-19 who are asymptomatic and a mild and/or moderate case.

Those fully vaccinated healthcare workers exposed to a COVID-19 cases, on the other hand, need not undergo quarantine as against seven days for fully vaccinated general population exposed to a COVID-19 case.

The COVID-19 positivity rate in the country has increased to 30% from less than 1% in mid-December 2021.  (MNS)

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