THE Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) has shortened the quarantine period for personnel of the aviation sector amid the rise in coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases in the country.

Based on IATF Resolution 157, which was issued on January 13, 2022, fully vaccinated and boosted aviation personnel who tested positive for the virus but with mild or no symptoms will undergo five-day isolation.

Asymptomatic close contacts of confirmed Covid-19 cases who were fully vaccinated and boosted, or asymptomatic close contacts who recovered from Covid-19 within the last 90 days will no longer have to undergo quarantine.

“DOTr (Department of Transportation) and its attached agencies shall identify the appropriate accountable group to make decisions for shortening isolation or quarantine based on evidence, similar to Hospital Infection Prevention and Control wherein infectious disease specialists, safety officers, and management deliberate, monitor, and act on all infection-related concerns of the health facility,” the IATF resolution read.

“DOTr shall monitor and evaluate the implementation of the aviation industry, and copy furnish reports to the DOH Epidemiology Bureau for assessment of Covid-19 cases, clusters, vaccination status, and the like,” it added.

Meanwhile, Department of Health spokesperson Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the IATF has already adopted their proposed shortened quarantine period of seven to 10 days for the general public depending on their vaccination status.

She said they will issue guidelines on the matter in the coming days.

Vergeire said the shortened quarantine period was based on studies that showed the virus load deteriorates after a few days of infection, which makes a person no longer infectious.

“Ang isang tao, infected right now, specifically no, especially if you are having the Omicron variant, it takes three to six days and then the virus load goes down,” she said.

She reiterated that the public should maintain strict compliance with the minimum health protocols such as the wearing of face masks, frequent disinfection and maintenance of physical distancing. (SunStar Philippines)