Bongbong Marcos, Vergeire discuss COVID-19 alert levels
MANILA, Philippines — No announcement has been made as of Monday regarding changes, if any, in the COVID-19 alert level system, but Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said she had discussed the issue with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
“We have discussed with the president regarding the inter-agency or the IATF and we also talked about alert level systems,” Vergeire said in an interview on ABS-CBN “TeleRadyo” on Monday night.
Vergeire, who is now the officer in charge of the Department of Health (DOH) said the Office of the President “may make an announcement by tomorrow [Tuesday].”
“But what I can tell you would be that the DOH gave recommendations and also explained to the president the current alert level system, what has to be improved in our alert level systems, what are the implications, and the current state of the COVID situation,” she said.
A proposal to change the current number-based alert levels to a “traffic light approach” was not part of the meeting with Marcos.
“What we talked about really would be the metrics of the alert level, what would be its implications, how does it really completely picture or give the picture of our current situation, and how does it relate to the restrictions that we have right now,” Vergeire said.
She added that Marcos raised “rational points” regarding alert level systems.
“He said that we really had a situation before when the alert level system applied, but now we have a different situation where we have other things we need to consider. That is what we talked about,” Vergeire said in Filipino.
Meanwhile, Marcos just asked the DOH to continue whatever it had been doing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Vergeire.
“We need to study the alert level system carefully and also study what is most appropriate for us today based on how we compare our situation today compared to last year and compared to 2020,” she added. “That was the basis for the different directives that were given,”
Vergeire said Marcos was also “very keen on booster doses” to help the country fight COVID-19.
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