Good news for people of Metro Manila who are enjoying more liberty to visit friends and families, enjoying shopping and dining, and traveling more! The Alert Level 2 status for Metro Manila, which has been going on for some time now, will remain until December 31, 2021, according to a report published by the Philippine News Agency (PNA).
To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the PNA report. Some parts in boldface…
The Covid-19 Alert Level 2 status in Metro Manila will remain for the rest of the year despite the detection of a third Omicron variant case in the country, National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 chief, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., said Monday.
The vaccine czar said the possible amendment on the alert level status will be based on the epidemiological recommendations of the Department of Health, considering key factors on cases surge and hospitalization rate.
“If the cases are high, including critical cases, and if the attack rate will increase, that’s the time we will raise our alert level,” Galvez said during a media briefing at a mall vaccination site in Taytay, Rizal.
Galvez said there is a continuing decline in Covid-19 cases in the country, with just 9,592 active infections as of Monday.
“Thank God, we maintained the low positivity rate. Actually, there are some areas that recorded less than one percent of positivity rate,” he added.
Still, he cautioned the public against complacency amid the downtrend.
“For now, we will just maintain the alert level, but we will massively accelerate the vaccination. At the same time, we will revisit our preparations in terms of treatment, quarantine facilities, and hospital treatments as well as the responses of the local government units (LGUs),” he said.
Stringent border control measures against the Omicron variant are also in place, added Galvez.
“Though we prepared a good response in terms of stringent border controls, as I’ve said earlier, we expected that,” he said. “The low cases and figures were sustained despite the opening of our economy.”
Galvez thanked anew LGUs and the private sector for proactively participating in the national Covid-19 vaccination days.
“And we have already reached our milestone of hitting 100 million jabs administered nationwide and we are now reaching 40 percent fully vaccinated out of our total population. That’s a huge milestone,” he said.
Secretary Vince Dizon, the Presidential Adviser on Covid-19 Response and NTF deputy chief, said the decision to impose lockdowns or to raise the alert level status should be based on the set parameters of number of cases, attack rate, and the two-week growth rate.
For some people, the move to retain the Alert Level 2 status for Metro Manila is surprising due to the global hardship caused by the Omicron variant (including becoming the dominant strain in the United States) which is already here in the Philippines. Still there is the fact that the daily count of new COVID-19 infections remains in the few hundreds and so far, the Omicron variant has not created a spike of new cases which is good because the Philippines is now at a stage of economic and social recovery after many months of restrictions. By the way, if you were injected with the Pfizer vaccine and are wondering how protected you are from Omicron, better read my recent article by clicking here. For those who got vaccinated with Sputnik V or Sputnik Light, click here and here.
Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about this latest development? Does the constant reporting of Omicron-related news make you feel uncomfortable? Do you believe the Alert Level 2 status extension for Metro Manila is the right move knowing that there are a few cases of Omicron here in the Philippines?
You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.
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