Duque: Not yet time to place entire PH under Alert Level 1 | Inquirer News
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Duque: Not yet time to place entire PH under Alert Level 1

/ 01:21 PM March 08, 2022

MANILA, Philippines — Health Secretary Francisco Duque III is not in favor of placing the entire country under the lowest COVID-19 alert level at this point.

“Hindi pa ngayon. Ayaw nating mawaldas natin ‘yung ating mga napagtagumpayan na. So kailangan mag-ingat tayo. Pasensya na, kasi ako talaga, ‘yung prinsipyo ko sa buhay, ‘yung laging mas prudent tsaka mas conservative,” Duque said in an interview with DZBB on Tuesday when asked of his position on the recommendation to place the entire country under Alert Level 1.

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(Not yet at this point. We don’t want to waste our successes. We need to be careful. I’m sorry. It’s because my principle in life is that it’s better to be prudent and conservative.)

National Economic and Development Authority Secretary Karl Chua earlier said that placing that entire country under Alert Level 1 will help cushion the economic impacts of the Russia-Ukraine tension.

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Duque, for his part, said the government’s goal is for the country to not have lockdowns again, considering the heavy blows it caused to the economy at the height of the pandemic.

He also noted that the national government included vaccination coverage among the requirements for Alert Level 1 so that people can be protected once the economy further reopens.

“Kung darating ang panahon na bababa pa ang ating mga kaso—kasi limang araw na tayong below 1,000, and hopefully maaabot na natin below 500 sa mga susunod na linggo and then mataas ang ating vaccination coverage doon sa rest of the population and senior citizens—ay malaki-laki ang pwede pang iluwag ng ating restrictions at mas maganda pa, lalakas ang daloy ng ating economic activity,” he pointed out.

(If the time will come when cases will further decrease—because cases were just below 1,000 in the last five days, and hopefully we can reach 500 in the coming weeks, and vaccination coverage is high in the rest of the population and among senior citizens—then we can further reduce restrictions significantly, which will benefit economic activities.)

At present, Metro Manila and 38 other areas are under Alert Level 1 until March 15.

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TAGS: alert level 1, coronavirus Philippines, COVID-19, DoH, Economy, Francisco Duque III, Karl Chua, NEDA
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