When can an area deescalate to Alert Level 1? IATF revises rules on quarantine classification

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 24 2022 08:40 PM

 Market-goers navigate the Marikina Public Market on February 20, 2022. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/file
Market-goers navigate the Marikina Public Market on February 20, 2022. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/file

MANILA - The country's COVID-19 task force has revised the rules on determining an area's alert level classification, which will be used beginning March, Malacañang said on Thursday. 

According to acting Malacañang spokesperson Karlos Nograles, the IATF approved the revised metrics based on the recommendation of their data analytics group. 

The alert level classification of an area will now be based on following, the Palace said:

  •  Health care utilization rate (case classification vs total number of COVID-19 beds).
  •  Low risk areas should have an average daily attack rate (ADAR) of less than 6.
  •  Moderate risk areas should have an ADAR of between 6 and 18. 
  •  High risk areas should have more than an ADAR of more than 18. 

An ADAR is the number of new cases in a city or province over a two-week period, divided by the population of the city or province.

 ALERT LEVEL 1

Areas that will meet the following criteria, on the other hand, can shift to Alert Level 1, according to Malacañang:

  •  Low to minimal risk case classification.
  •  Total bed utilization rate of less than 50 percent.
  •  Full vaccination of 70 percent of its target population (denominator is 80 percent of its total population).
  •  Full vaccination of 80 percent of its target population in the elderly (denominator is 85 percent of its population).

Restrictions on public health and transportation will be lifted once the country shifts to a new normal system, in line with the protocol under Alert Level 1, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire had said. 

This means that public transport and establishments would be allowed to serve at capacity.

Under Alert Level 1, intrazonal and interzonal travel would be allowed despite age and comorbidity, according to the Department of Health (DOH) website. 

All establishments and activities, meanwhile, will be permitted to operate "full on-site or venue/seating capacity," the DOH said. 

Metro Manila mayors this week urged the inter-agency task force (IATF) to place the capital region under Alert Level 1 beginning March 1, as new COVID-19 cases continue to drop.

The country has recorded less than 2,000 new cases the past 6 days, data showed. 

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