Neda backs expanded implementation of new alert level system, granular lockdowns | Inquirer News
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Neda backs expanded implementation of new alert level system, granular lockdowns

By: - Reporter / @DYGalvezINQ
/ 03:38 PM September 30, 2021
Neda granular lockdown

(FILE) At least 13 streets including Cherry Street in Sampaloc Site II , Barangay BF Homes, Paranaque City is placed into granular lockdown due to increasing COVID-19 cases. INQUIRER PHOTO / RICHARD A. REYES

MANILA, Philippines — The implementation of the government’s new alert level system for COVID-19 with a focus on granular lockdowns should already be expanded to other areas in the country, National Economic Development Authority (Neda) chief Karl Chua said Thursday.

The new alert level system is only currently being implemented in Metro Manila and so far it is working, Chua said, citing the decreasing number of COVID-19 cases.

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He said that with fewer restrictions since control is focused on specified areas, the economy is still able to run and more employees are retrieving their jobs.

“Ang kailangan gawin ngayon ay iexpand ito, expand the pilot  at matuto tayo sa ating experiences ng iba’t ibang lugar ng Pilipinas,” he said in a Palace briefing.

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(What we need to do now is to expand the implementation and we should learn from our experiences in other areas in the country.)

“‘Yan sa tingin ko ‘yung ating solusyon kasi hindi talaga pwedeng bumalik sa whole country or whole region lockdown,” he added.

(That is, I think, our solution to the pandemic because we cannot revert to region-wide lockdowns.)

He said the Philippines must be able to live with the virus, without having to impose wide lockdowns, since the coronavirus is here to stay for long.

“Itong virus ay hindi mabilis na aalis at tayo ay kailangang matutong to live with this virus,” he added.

In a report released on Thursday, independent pandemic monitor OCTA Research group said Metro Manila’s COVID-19 reproduction number further dropped to 0.87, which is “considered low.”

The government piloted the new alert level system in Metro Manila starting Sept. 16, placing the region under Alert Level 4, the second-highest alert level.

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Under Alert Level 4, outdoor or alfresco dining services in restaurants and eateries will operate at a maximum of 30% venue or seating capacity regardless of vaccination status.

On the other hand, indoor dining or dine-in services may be allowed at a limited 10% seating capacity but will cater only to individuals fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in addition to a restaurant’s allowed outdoor or alfresco capacity.

The enforcement of Alert Level 4 is set to end on September 30. The government’s pandemic task force will discuss on Thursday whether to extend Alert Level 4 in Metro Manila starting Oct. 1 or relax the status to Alert Level 3.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said it will be the Department of Health (DOH) to decide on the alert level status for Metro Manila but added that Metro Manila mayors have suggested that the alert status be downgraded.

/MUF

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TAGS: alert level system, Chua, expansion, granular lockdowns, Metro Manila, NEDA
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