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By Prince Golez

The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has approved the recommendations of the National Task Force for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (NTF) to strengthen screening and surveillance activities.

On Friday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, also acting as IATF spokesperson, said the NTF supported the efforts of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to hire more civilians who would serve as additional personnel for contract tracing and swabbing in ports of entry.

They also recommended dedicating Subic and other ports as hubs for international crew change, subject to established health protocols and guidelines, Roque said in a statement.

Also approved was the establishment of one-stop shops under the DOTr for uniform processing of arrivals in all gateways.

Meanwhile, the IATF also adopted the inbound flight crew protocols mandated by the International Civil Aviation Organization for inbound flight crew.

Based on IATF Resolution No. 53 issued on July 9, the DOTr, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, and other attached agencies are directed to issue the necessary guidelines.

“Inbound flight crew must remain in their accommodation establishments upon arrival to avoid transmission,” the reso further read.

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