Alert Level 2 in NCR possible next month if COVID-19 response maintained — DOH

COVID-19 curbs in the National Capital Region (NCR) could be eased further if the virus response was maintained, the Department of Health (DOH) said Saturday.

At the Laging Handa briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said an Alert Level 2 status for NCR could only be possible if there was a continued decline in cases and hospital admissions.

“‘Pag tiningnan natin ang projection ng FASSSTER, nakikita natin patuloy na bababa ang mga kaso, pero meron tayong mga ginagamit na assumptions when we do our projections, tulad ng detection to isolation ‘yan po ay napakalaking bagay. Kapag tiningnan natin ang detection to isolation ngayon, ito po ay nasa four days po,” she said.

(If we look at the FASSSTER projection, we see that cases continue to decline, but we use assumptions when we do our projections, such as the detection to isolation [time]. This is a significant thing. If we look at detection to isolation right now, it is about four days.)

“Sana ma-maintain natin lahat so that we can be able to de-escalate to Alert Level 2 come November. Kapag tiningnan natin ang average number of cases natin dito sa Metro Manila ngayon, nasa 967 na ‘yung seven-day moving average,” she added.

(Hopefully we can maintain all [our responses] so that we can be able to de-escalate to Alert Level 2 come November. If we look at the average number of cases in Metro Manila today, the seven-day moving average is already 967.)

Vergeire said the healthcare utilization rate in the region had also gone down.

“Hopefully by November we can be able to de-escalate and open up our economy,” she said.

Under Alert Level 2, permitted establishments or activities, shall be allowed to operate, or be undertaken at a maximum of 50% indoor venue capacity for fully vaccinated individuals only and those below 18 years of age, even if unvaccinated, and 70% outdoor venue capacity.

The employees of these establishments must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and the minimum public health standards shall be strictly maintained.

Metro Manila was first placed under Alert Level 4 from September 16 to October 15, then to a more relaxed Alert Level 3 from October 16 to 31.

The DOH on Saturday reported 5,807 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the nationwide tally to 2,751,667.

Data also showed that 55% of 4,300 intensive care unit (ICU) beds for COVID-19 patients nationwide were in use.

At least 40% of the 14,500 ward beds in the country were utilized, while 36% of the 4,100 ward beds in the NCR were in use. — VBL, GMA News

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