1. Yesterday, a total of 669,189 doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered with 400,618 having received their first jab, and 263,299 having received their second dose, with 5,272 receiving a booster dose. The aggregate total stands at roughly 29.5 million does, inclusive of expatriates.

2. The number of new confirmed cases is 18,702 cases. There are currently 185,200 active cases with 20,163 new recoveries and 273 new fatalities. The accumulated number of fatalities is 10,587. While the number of new infections countrywide has been on a downward trend, the Northeastern is an exception caused by the movement of some patients who opted to return to their hometowns to receive treatment.

3. There’s been an ongoing decrease in new infections as the number of daily discharges has exceeded new infections. The next goal is therefore to gradually adapt ourselves to new public health measures as we learn to better co-exist with COVID-19 instead of eradicating the virus completely. As a result, the CCSA General Meeting today, chaired by the Prime Minister, approved new set of measures including, among others, the avoidance of hosting activities in the 3Cs — crowded places; 2. close-contact settings; and 3. confined and enclosed space — that have the potential to lend themselves to new clusters.

4. Another part of the new measures will aim at adopting practices for disease control including the use of antigen test kits for crowded communities, markets and restaurants, active case findings in fragile communities or areas by CCRT teams and volunteer groups, early detection of new infections through the use of ATK, the use of effective home isolation and community isolation, and bubble-and-seal measures for factories, workplaces, and construction sites.

5. These measures will be conducted in tandem with the national vaccination drive plan that will have achieved the 100 million doses and 50 million people benchmark, or 70 percent coverage of the entire population having received complete doses of vaccines, by the end of this year.

6. CCSA also approved inter-provincial travels from dark red zones, when and if necessary, and newly adjusted public health measures for restaurants and eateries that are ready and willing to adopt new requirements for restaurant staff and customers such as the use of ATK results and vaccination requirements, which will start on 1st of September. The goal is to have these new adaptive measures eventually adopted as standard practice by the beginning of October.

7. Businesses and organisations that are ready and willing to comply with COVID-free settings and the new Universal Prevention measures may resume their operations as of 1st September. Such measures emphasise physical distancing, good air circulation and ventilation, and public hygiene. Employees working on-site must be vaccinated and take weekly antigen tests. To have access to business establishments and restaurants, those residing in the dark red zones who have been full vaccinated will be given green cards and those who have previously contracted COVID-19 or whose ATK result within one week is negative will be given a yellow card. Businesses and restaurants in other zones must comply with DMHTTA measures and Universal Prevention guidelines.

8. The adjustment of measures in the dark red zones starting from 1st September include:

8.1 Interprovincial travel:

1) Inter-provincial travel is permissible when and if necessary; 2) public transport can operate at 75 percent capacity provided that masks are worn at all times and there is no consumption of food or drinks. Vans and buses should stop to allow for air circulation every 2 to 3 hours; and 3) workers who travel to work must follow a sealed route under the bubble and seal measure;

8.2 Re-opening of restaurants and eateries:

1) restaurants situated outdoors or indoors with open setting (no air condition) and good air circulation or ventilation may seat up to 75 percent of maximum capacity; 2) indoor restaurants in a closed setting with air condition may seat up to 50 percent of maximum capacity; and 3) all restaurant operators must strictly follow public health measures.

8.3 Community malls and shopping malls : All shops situated on the premises of said establishments can operate as per normal, with the exception of the following types of business that may only offer limited services:

1) beauty salons and beauty parlors may only open for haircut with a maximum of one hour per customer; 2) massage parlors can only open for foot massage; 3) beauty clinics may only sell products; and 4) restaurants and eateries may open for dine-in business given that they comply with measures for restaurants and eateries in a closed setting as stated above.

8.4 Businesses and activities inside community malls and shopping centres that are not yet allowed to operate include tutoring schools, cinemas and movie theatres, spas, amusement parks and water parks, fitness, sporting facilities, and conference centres and dining halls.

8.5 Sporting facilities and stadiums (outside shopping malls) can open for the purpose of exercising but not to hold events with audiences;

8.6 Use of school buildings is permissible, but as deemed appropriate per the approval of provincial education authority and provincial communicable disease committee in accordance with rules and regulations stipulated by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation and Ministry of Public Health.

9. The general public is urged to follow Universal Prevention guidelines including: leaving your place of residence when and if necessary; observing social distancing of 1 to 2 metres; wearing a cloth mask over surgical mask, even at home; washing your hands frequently with soap or alcohol gel; avoid touching your nose, eye or mouth; separating personal items and eating utensils from other family members; and testing yourself with ATKs as often as possible.

Full CCSA English briefing can be viewed here >>> https://www.facebook.com/180940151929407/posts/4562791713744207/?vh=e&d=n

Source: CCSA, Ministry of Public Health and Department of Information, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA)