Duque favors downgrade to Alert Level 3 for Metro Manila
MANILA, Philippines — Health Secretary Francisco Duque III is in favor of placing Metro Manila under the more relaxed alert level 3 starting October 16.
“My personal opinion is for a downgrading to alert level 3 of NCR (National Capital Region). Again this is personal. Need to analyze the metrics based on data,” Duque told INQUIRER.net in a text message on Wednesday.
Duque said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases will decide on the region’s next alert level in a meeting on Thursday.
Aside from Duque, Malacañang also supports the suggestion of Metro Manila mayors to place the region from the present alert level 4 to alert level 3 in order to allow more businesses to reopen.
Jonathan Malaya, Undersecretary and spokesperson of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, also said the metropolis is ready to transition to alert level 3 considering the continuous drop in the number of COVID-19 cases.
Businesses are likewise appealing to the government to place Metro Manila under alert level 3 to allow establishments to accept more customers and recover from their losses.
Under alert level 3, previously restricted businesses will be allowed to operate at 30-percent capacity, with an additional 10 percent if they have secured a safety seal from the government. They can also accept all customers regardless of vaccination status.
These businesses include restaurants and personal care services, which only operate at 10-percent capacity for indoor services and accept only vaccinated customers under alert level 4. They are also allowed to operate at 30-percent capacity for al fresco dining and outdoor services and accept both vaccinated and unvaccinated customers.
The imposition of the alert level 4 status in Metro Manila is scheduled to end on October 15.
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