DOH: Alert level 2 in NCR possible in ‘coming weeks’ if decline in COVID cases continues
MANILA, Philippines — Metro Manila may be placed under the more relaxed Alert Level 2 in the coming weeks if the decline in new COVID-19 cases continues, the Department of Health (DOH) said Thursday.
The DOH reported only 642 new COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila and 3,656 new cases nationwide on Wednesday. The capital region now has 13,439 active cases of the disease while the entire country has 67,061 active coronavirus infections.
“If this number continues to decline, it is very possible that we can be deescalated in the coming weeks, so hopefully all of us will not be complacent, all of us will work together so that we can reach that goal of having Alert Level 2 in the NCR,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told CNN Philippines’ The Source.
According to Vergeire, an average of 500 new daily COVID cases is a “comfortable number” for Metro Manila to be placed under Alert Level 2. She said that at present, the seven-day average of new cases in the region is 1,156.
Under Alert Level 2, select establishments and activities will be allowed to operate at a maximum of 50 percent on-site or venue capacity, except in areas under granular lockdown.
Restrictions under Alert Level 3 in Metro Manila were set for October 16 to 31.
But while the number of new COVID cases nationwide decreased to just over 3,000 on Wednesday, Vergeire noted that the public should also consider the seven-day average of new infections.
“We need to look at a one-week average because last week we were averaging about 5,000 plus cases per day. Kailangan makita natin for this week, magtuloy-tuloy ‘yan (We need to see that this will continue for this week),” she said.
“We need to also look at other factors which affect our numbers. On Tuesday, I think we had 4,000 plus cases and this was attributed to some of the laboratories not reporting because [the new cases were from tests conducted last] Sunday. Ngayon, itong kahapon, kumpleto po lahat ng pagkakasubmit [ng test results],” Vergeire explained.
Meanwhile, Vergeire also noted the decreasing positivity rate in COVID-19 tests. She said that the positivity rate is now at 11 percent in Metro Manila and 17 percent nationwide. Hospital admissions, she added, have also gone down.
“Hopefully magtuloy-tuloy po (this will continue) and this is really the start of decline in the number of cases,” she said.
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