NTF eyeing COVID-19 endemic approach
MANILA, Philippines — The National Task Force Against COVID-19 (NTF COVID-19) is drafting a plan to deal with a COVID-19 endemic instead of a pandemic, presidential adviser for COVID-19 response and NTF deputy chief implementer,Secretary Vince Dizon said Wednesday.
An endemic when a disease is regularly found among particular people or in a certain area while a pandemic is when a disease is prevalent over a whole country or the world.
“I think we’re already headed in that direction. In fact, napakabilis po ng decisions ng IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases) at ng NTF nitong mga nakaraang araw sa pagbaba ng Alert Level 2 sa NCR (National Capital Region), pag-lift ng quarantine restrictions for incoming passengers,” he said over the Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum.
(In fact, the decisions of the IATF and NTF are quick these past few days from the lowering of Alert Level 2 in NCR and lifting the quarantine restrictions for incoming passengers.)
“I think we are heading in that direction already. Siguro po (Maybe) give us maybe this month to put it together. Secretary [Carlito] Galvez and the NTF are already putting together a plan to move from the state of a pandemic to an endemic approach. We will have more details po siguro (maybe) within the month,” he added.
Dizon also noted the country’s high vaccination rates, especially in major cities which are at high risk for the COVID-19.
Presidential adviser for entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion meantime explained the proposal to scratch the alert level system in certain areas.
“Bottomline, vaccination is key and that’s why our proposal is alert levels will have to stay with those who have very poor vaccination rate,” he said in the same forum.
“Ang sinasabi namin na pwede nang tanggalin ang alert level sa mga areas that are already at at least minimum of 70 percent fully vaccinated,” added Concepcion.
(What we’re saying is that alert levels could already be lifted in areas with at least a minimum of 70 percent fully vaccinated.)
To date, 59.1 million individuals are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in the country.
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