MANILA – An official of the Department of Health (DOH) on Friday said the recent downgrade of the National Capital Region (NCR) to Alert Level 3 is based on the recent downturn in metrics on the risk of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-1) infection in the region.
In a virtual presser, DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said NCR’s metrics require “de-escalation” to the new alert level and are not “subject to discussions or debate”.
“This is not even subject to appeals. The alert levels are classifications that we do based on metrics, scientific metrics na meron tayo (that we have),” Vergeire said.
To date, she said the NCR’s current health care utilization rate (HCUR) requires de-escalation, with the region’s total bed utilization currently at just over 50 percent and utilization of intensive care units (ICU) at about 65 percent.
“When you look at their case trends, ang kanilang two-week growth rate ay negative, ang kanilang average daily attack rate ay bumaba na rin po at sila ay at moderate risk. Kaya sila po ay na-classify na for this alert level (their two-week growth rate is negative, their average daily attack rate has also gone down, and they are at moderate risk. That’s why they are classified for this alert level),” Vergeire said.
She noted that what is discussed with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) are the interventions or actions that are “related or needed” for each alert level.
“Dun po tayo sa desisyon ng IATF-EID kung sakali, ia-announce po yan ng (Let’s wait for the decision of the IATF-EID, it will be announced by the) Office of the President regarding this gradual opening of some of the establishments based on the alert level,” Vergeire said.
Despite the reopening of more establishments, she said minimum health standards and other safeguards remain in place.
She also reminded the public to avoid the three Cs — closed spaces, crowded places, and close-contact settings — to minimize the risk of Covid-19 infection.
On Wednesday, the IATF-EID approved the recommendation to place Metro Manila under the less restrictive Alert Level 3 from October 16 to 31. (PNA)