No need to tighten alert level amid COVID surge with low hospitalization rate - Concepcion | Inquirer News
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No need to tighten alert level amid COVID surge with low hospitalization rate – Concepcion

By: - Reporter / @DYGalvezINQ
/ 01:44 PM May 23, 2022

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A passenger sits inside a tricycle covered with a reminder to wear a mask, part of the Covid-19 health protocols, in Manila on February 16, 2022. (AFP)

MANILA, Philippines — Alert levels should not be escalated even if COVID-19 cases surge as long as the country’s hospital capacity rate remains low, presidential adviser for entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion said Monday.

He said the country can no longer afford to place areas under lockdown because this will hinder the progress of businesses that are just getting back on their feet and will severely impact the country’s economy.

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“Talagang babagsak ang economy ng Pilipinas. Ang economy natin is doing very well now, kailangan sumigla ito kasi kailangan natin din ‘yung job generation,” he said in a public briefing.

(The economy of the Philippines will suffer. It is doing well now but we need to further strengthen it because we need to generate more jobs.)

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“Dapat huwag natin itaas ‘yung alert levels natin. Kahit tumaas ‘yung infection level, kahit thousands ‘yan, pero ‘yung hospital capacity natin ay talagang mababa pa rin, dapat tuloy tuloy pa rin itong Alert Level 1,” Concepcion added.

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Presidential adviser for entrepreneurship, Secretary Joey Concepcion  (INQUIRER FILE PHOTO)

(We should not escalate our alert levels. Even if the infection level rises, with thousands of new cases, but our hospital capacity remains really low, we should maintain Alert Level 1.)

Concepcion reasoned out that this is what is being done in other countries to maintain their economy.

“Tulad sa ibang bansa mataas ‘yung infection level pero ‘yung hospital capacity nila talagang mababa, hindi sila nagla-lockdown at tuloy tuloy ang mobility nila so dapat sundin natin ang ginagawa ng ibang bansa,” he said.

(Other countries do not impose lockdowns or restrict mobility even though they have high infection level as long as their hospital capacity is low. We should follow that example.)

Alert Level 1 is the least restrictive among the five-tiered alert level system being implemented in the country.

Metro Manila and various provinces, cities and municipalities are currently under Alert Level 1 until May 31.

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Concepcion said the government should drive up the COVID-19 vaccination rate, especially the booster shots to maintain the protection among people since mobility is increasing due to loose restrictions.

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 (AFP)

“Pwersahin natin ‘yung booster shots natin. There’s no mandate on vaccination so ngayon it’s up to the Filipino people to make sure they get their booster shots, especially kung economic frontliners sila,” he said.

(We should push people to get their booster shots. There is no mandate on vaccination so it’s up to the Filipino people to get their booster shots, especially if they are economic frontliners.)

Experts have predicted that there will be an uptick of COVID-19 cases due to the presence of a new sublineage of Omicron and as a result of superspreader events due to the 2022 elections.

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