OCTA fellow: Gov't should have extended Metro Manila's Alert Level 3 | Inquirer News
for a 'more cautious' approach vs COVID-19

OCTA fellow: Gov’t should have extended Metro Manila’s Alert Level 3

/ 02:52 PM January 31, 2022

OCTA fellow Guido David said the government could have taken a “slighty more cautious” approach and retained alert level 3 in Metro Manila.

In this photo taken on March 22, 2021, policemen guard the boundary of Cavite and Metro Manila as the national capital and its nearby provinces are placed under lockdown due to a surge in COVID-19 cases. INQUIRER file photo / MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

MANILA, Philippines — For OCTA Research fellow Guido David, the government could have taken a “slighty more cautious” approach and retained Metro Manila under Alert Level 3 for one to two more weeks.

“Personally, I might have taken a slightly more cautious approach and maybe waited one week or two weeks. One to two weeks in the scheme of things will not be a long wait if we waited one to two weeks,” David said during the Pandesal Forum on Monday.


Nevertheless, David said he understood that the government’s pandemic task force might have based their decision on “different metrics” compared to the first two years of the pandemic.


“When we were in the situation last year with the Delta surge and the March surge last year with the Alpha and the Beta, we needed the number of cases to go down below 2,000 per day before we opened up because that was correlated with the number of hospitalizations so we calculated that number to be the threshold based on the number of people getting hospitalized,” he explained.

But with more mild COVID-19 cases being recently reported, the country’s healthcare system is not as threatened as before, according to David.

“The surge capacity is probably much higher, what that means is 3,000 cases a day in NCR (National Capital Region), even if we’re going to be having that level for a while, that will be a level of cases that will not really threaten our hospital care system,” he said.

“That’s the most important aspect and that’s the reason we had to go to lockdown, the healthcare system being threatened but now because of the predominantly mild cases, that may not be the case,” he added.

In data presented by David during the forum, Metro Manila’s healthcare utilization rate is at 39 percent or “low risk” as of Jan. 31.

Metro Manila and several other areas will be reverted to the more relaxed Alert Level 2 starting Feb. 1.


“We are moving to the Alert Level 2, it’s going to be more relaxed but even as we transition to Alert Level 2…my personal recommendation is that the virus is still there, we’ll proceed with the transitions gradually we still have to follow the minimum public health standards,” David went on.

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