Tighter alert level in NCR may not be needed: WHO exec

Tighter alert level in NCR may not be needed: WHO exec

MANILA – The current alert level imposed by the government in the National Capital Region (NCR) may be adequate as the country’s healthcare system would be able to manage the surge in coronavirus infections until January 27 or 28, World Health Organization (WHO) country representative Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe said Wednesday.

With the surge in cases especially in the NCR, the government is expected to decide within the week whether to retain the current Alert Level 3 or tighten it to Alert Level 4 from January 16 to 31.

In a Laging Handa briefing, Abeyasinghe explained that having overwhelmed healthcare systems is one of the factors considered by authorities in the implementation of stringent restrictions over any region in the country.

“Right now, we don’t see that. Projections are that the Philippines may be able to avert that if even if current trends are continued until about the end of this month,” he said. “The red line analysis that we have done projects that we can manage the health systems to about the 27 [or] 28 of January.”

He added authorities have seen a significant reduction in the mobility of people under the current alert level and in the number of new cases on Tuesday which could both be an indication that current alert levels would do.

The Department of Health on Tuesday logged 28,007 new coronavirus infections which are lower than Monday’s tally of 33,169 — the highest single-day number of new infections since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

However, new infections soared anew to 32,246 on Wednesday.

The regions with the most cases in the recent two weeks were the National Capital Region (NCR) with 17,902 or 56 percent of new infections; Calabarzon, 6,838 or 22 percent; and Central Luzon, 3,268 or 10 percent.

Abeyasinghe noted keeping the economy open and taking the best approach in addressing the uptrend in cases are crucial.

“So, we are very careful in saying we need to restrict movements more, what is important is at individual level everybody following the minimum public health standards and isolating or quarantining themselves if they have symptoms or exposure,” he said. (PNA)

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