Current alert level system to stay in place until then, says Pres. Marcos Jr
(Eagle News) – The Philippines would be implementing a new system of classification for Covid-19 restrictions by mid-August, Malacanang said on Tuesday, July 19.
From now until then, the current Covid-19 Alert Level System remains in place, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., said.
Marcos also announced that the new level of classifying Covid restrictions in the country would be “decoupled” or separated from the alert level now put in place nationwide.
“To avoid confusion, we will retain the alert level system for now. We are however thinking, we are studying very closely, and we’ll come to a decision very soon as to decoupling the restrictions from the alert levels,” Marcos said during a meeting with Department of Health Officer-In-Charge, Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.
The President also said that this new alert level system could be adjusted or improved if people get their booster shots.
This announcement came as the government reported a continuous increase in Covid cases due to the highly contagious Omicron BA.5 variant.
There were also areas in the country with a spike in positivity rate exceeding 20 percent, based on DOH data.
-2nd week of August, timely for changes — Vergeire-
DOH OIC Undersecretary Vergeire said that the DOH could come up with new classifications by the second week of August.
The middle of August is also a suitable period to allay fears of the medical community and give them time to make COVID-19 cases more manageable, she said.
Based on current projections, more relaxed compliance to minimum public health standards (MPHS) would result in a higher number of COVID-19 cases, Vergeire said, noting, however, that it is preventable.
-IATF being reconstituted-
The DOH is currently reconstituting the member agencies of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to only those with relevant and intended functions.
Pending this, Vergeire said they will streamline IATF meetings and processes with clear directives to assist in safe reopening. They will be utilizing the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) platform, she said.
“The platform will replace the National Task Force Against COVID-19 (NTF) to integrate it with the regular processes,” Malacanang said.
“This will allow the IATF health expert groups to continue their work as they serve as the voice of science in the country,” it added.
(Eagle News Service)